U.S. investigating Saudi journalist’s disappearance
by Harvest Prude
Posted 10/11/18, 12:22 pm
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump said Thursday the United States is working to discover what happened to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing Oct. 2 and is believed to have been murdered by Saudi government operatives. “We have investigators over there and we’re working with Turkey” and with Saudi Arabia, the president said on Fox News’ Fox & Friends. Trump was hesitant Wednesday to commit to pulling back from arms sales to the Saudis, saying that would punish the United States economically. A bipartisan group of more than 20 senators have asked the president to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance and urged sanctions for human rights violations.
Khashoggi, a Saudi national living in self-imposed exile in Washington, D.C., was a contributor to The Washington Post and a vocal critic of the Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He disappeared last Tuesday after walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where he went to obtain documents to marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.
The Turkish pro-government Sabah newspaper released a surveillance video Wednesday of what it called a 15-member “assassination squad,” which flew in and out of Istanbul on Oct. 2 on two private jets, allegedly to kill Khashoggi. Turkish authorities said they believe Khashoggi was killed at the consulate and his dismembered body was smuggled away, The New York Times reported.
Saudi Arabia has insisted that Khashoggi left the consulate through another exit shortly after his arrival and denied the murder, but officials have failed to provide any evidence for this claim. The Washington Post reported that the crown prince himself ordered the operation, according to U.S. intelligence sources that intercepted the plan. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has diplomatic ties with Mohammed, a fact that has come under scrutiny since the incident.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.