Turkish newspaper names 15 Saudis in case of missing reporter

Danny Woods
October 10, 2018

Earlier Turkish media close to the president published images of what it described as a 15-member "assassination squad" allegedly sent to kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and of a black van later moving from the Saudi consulate, where he went missing, to the consul's home.

The Sabah newspaper published images of the men apparently taken at passport control.

The details surrounding Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week remain a mystery, but according to a new report from the Post, U.S. intelligence officials seemed to have discovered a plan to capture him before it happened, and failed to successfully intervene.

The video then cuts away to traffic outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul's upscale 4th Levent neighborhood, showing vehicles with green diplomatic license plates.

The Saudi government has refuted those allegations, saying that Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after he entered.

Sabah revealed the times the Saudi nationals arrived and left Istanbul.

Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul to get documents related to his forthcoming marriage. They checked into two hotels in Istanbul, the paper said. The footage shows Khashoggi entering the consulate on October 2.

In this photo from February 1, 2015, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks at a press conference in Manama, Bahrain.

15 suspects, video footage offer new clues in case of missing Saudi reporter

Khashoggi, a Saudi national who fled his country past year for fear of political repression, had been a vocal critic of Salman's crackdown on political dissent and the Saudi military's conduct in the Yemen civil war. According to the New York Times, officials in Istanbul believe he was killed on orders from the royal court of Saudi Arabia.

Both planes later returned to Riyadh, with one stopping in Dubai and the other in Egypt, the report said, adding that the police were looking into the possibility that Khashoggi was kidnapped.

He has been critical of some policies of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen. "The Saudi Consulate can not absolve itself of responsibility for this incident by allowing its premises to be searched", said Gulseren Yoleri of the Human Rights Association.

Despite this, he gave his Turkish fiancée Hatice Cengiz two mobile phones and told her to call an adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he did not come back out. Fifteen people reportedly traveled to Istanbul aboard two charter flights, including one person who is believed to be an autopsy expert that may have helped dismember Khashoggi's body to remove it from the building.

Turkey has been granted permission to search the diplomatic post, a very rare move in response to growing pressure from the fellow regional power and Saudi allies across the globe including the UK and Donald Trump's United States.

The Washington Post also reports that prior to Mr Khashoggi's visit, USA intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plot to capture him.

The Turkish foreign ministry on Tuesday said Saudi authorities gave them the greenlight to search the consulate but it has not yet taken place.

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