Crown prince ordered operation to lure missing journalist back to Saudi Arabia

Clay Curtis
October 11, 2018

Saudi Arabia called the accusations "baseless".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders added that the United States would continue to inquire about the fate of the journalist.

Turan Kislakci, a friend of Khashoggi and the head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, said that Turkish officials said the journalist has been brutally murdered.

The Tennessee Republican, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says he has also spoken with the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. "It's a awful thing".

Trump also said he was looking into a meeting in the White House with Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz.

In an off-the-record interview published by the BBC, Khashoggi said he didn't think he'd be able to go back to Saudi Arabia, but still called Mohammad bin Salman's reforms a time of "great transformation" in his country.

Worldwide news agencies reported that Turkish officials, who asked not to be identified, stated last Saturday evening that the Saudi journalist was killed by a team that arrived to Istanbul for a definite objective and left on the same day, while Turkish sources reported that those who entered the consulate during the presence of Khashoggi were from the Saudi Arabian security services.

Khashoggi, 59, was reportedly killed within two hours of arriving at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. The Trump administration's Middle East policy, ranging from issues of Iran, Syria and Israel, has been built around the Saudi alliance despite criticism of the kingdom's abysmal human rights record and the war in Yemen.

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The men departed Turkey the day Khashoggi disappeared, taking flights to Cairo and Dubai.

"I wish Jamal would be safe. and I wish the safety to all the liberals and dissidents in the world who deserve the protection of the conscience of the world, more than [they have] now". "Violence against journalists should be condemned, but at this point, we don't know what happened".

The move added pressure on close USA ally Riyadh to provide more information on the whereabouts of the prominent critic of Saudi policies, whose disappearance has sparked global concern. "We don't like it and we're going to get to the bottom of it", he added.

Turkey said on Tuesday it will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as part of an investigation into the disappearance of a missing Saudi contributor to The Washington Post, a week after he vanished during a visit there.

ISTANBUL-Turkish media published images Wednesday of an alleged 15-member Saudi "assassination squad" and video of suspicious movements at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul following journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance a week ago, putting new pressure on the kingdom amid growing global concern for the writer. He wrote columns for the Washington Post and the Guardian.

In an article for the Washington Post, Ms Cengiz pleaded with Mr Trump and his wife Melania to "help shed light" on the disappearance of her partner.

No security footage has been released showing the journalist leaving the premises.

The disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday prompted senators to initiate an investigation and possible sanctions against Saudi Arabia.

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