Jamal Khashoggi case: USA intel heard Saudis discussing plot against journalist

Brunilde Fioravanti
Ottobre 11, 2018

"I have to find out what happened", Trump said, when asked if U.S. -Saudi relations would be jeopardized by the disappearance of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who Turkish officials suspect was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi was a prominent critic of the Saudi government and Mohammed in particular, the Post noted. He had been living in the U.S. state of Virginia.

Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi, a critic of Salman who has been living in self-imposed exile in the US, was killed October 2 inside the consulate when he went there to pick up documents to allow him to marry Cengiz, a Turkish national, or perhaps spirited away to Riyadh.

As the Middle East Eye reported Tuesday, "social media users have criticized the "deafening silence" from the U.S. administration following the alleged death" with many calling on Trump to demand answers from Saudi leaders. "I'm not happy about it", Trump said of Khashoggi's disappearance. "It certainly doesn't look like he's around".

Trump told reporters a day earlier that he had raised Khashoggi's case with Saudi Arabia "at the highest level" and a few times in recent days and said he and his wife expect to invite Cengiz to the White House soon.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening that USA intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Khashoggi.

Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are allies of the United States.

In remarkably measured statements that made no mention of the murder claim, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed hope that Khashoggi would turn up alive and urged Riyadh to prove the journalist left the consulate. The Saudi government has become a closer ally under Trump and some lawmakers warn that relations could be jeopardized if it turns out the kingdom was involved in his disappearance.

The Trump administration, from the president on down, is heavily invested in the Saudi relationship.

The Trump administration must report to Congress within 120 days.

The letter demands that the White House "determine whether a foreign person is responsible for the extrajudicial killing, torture or gross violation of internationally recognized human rights".

The US peace group Code Pink mounted a protest in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington Wednesday, brandishing signs saying "Where is Jamal Khashoggi?" and "Khashoggi: Another Victim of Saudi Violence".

Mr Trump also says he has reached out to Mr Khashoggi's fiance, Hatice Cengiz, and invited her to the Oval Office.

A total of 25 to 30 professional and non-professional journalists are now believed to be detained in Saudi Arabia, which is ranked 169th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index, the organisation also said.

Watch above, via Fox News.

U.S. intelligence officials reportedly intercepted communications that the Saudis discussed a plan to lure and capture Khashoggi before his disappearance, a person familiar with the situation said in The Post. We have a country that's doing probably better economically than it's ever done before.

He continued: "Part of that is what we're doing with our defence systems and everybody's wanting them". "I miss my country very much".

The fact that the Saudis under MBS, with Trump and Kushner's encouragement, can target an Establishment, non-dissident, ex-govt, mildly-critical-of-MBS Saudi public figure in this brutal & brazen way speaks volumes about what they think they can get away with - and do! The U.S. and Saudi Arabia concluded arms sale agreements worth more than $65 billion, from FY2009 through FY2016. The administration also relies on Saudi support for several aspects of its Middle East agenda.

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