Images surface of Saudis allegedly sent to target writer
Images surface of Saudis allegedly sent to target writer
Jamal Khashoggi vanished following a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2
10 October, 2018, 16:18
Photos have surfaced of a 15-member "assassination squad" allegedly sent after the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.
USA intelligence agencies reportedly intercepted Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture JamalKhashoggi, the journalist who disappeared after visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
This video grab made on Wednesday from CCTV footage obtained from Turkish news agency DHA shows Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (right) arriving at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2, 2018.
The kingdom has called the allegations "baseless", but has not provided any evidence that Khashoggi left the consulate and did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
The Sabah newspaper published images of the men apparently taken at passport control.
Over a week into Khashoggi's disappearance, his whereabouts are still unknown, with Turkish and Saudi authorities putting forward conflicting statements over the issue.
Riyadh has said Khashoggi left the consulate after his visit.
One of the vans is reported to have taken some of the men from the consulate to the nearby residence of the Saudi consul about two hours after Mr Khashoggi's arrival. The team arrived in Istanbul on two private planes, one of which landed after 3 a.m. (0000 GMT) on Tuesday while the second plane landed around 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) after Khashoggi entered the consulate. The poster reads in Turkish: ' Jamal Khashoggi, missing since October 2, 2018'. A senior Turkish official told the Times that "Ankara hoped that Washington and the global community would take the lead in challenging Saudi Arabia".
The Saudis wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there, this person said.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who has written columns critical of the kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing on October 2 after entering the consulate for paperwork needed to marry his Turkish fiancée.
The individuals checked in to two hotels close to the consulate, the daily said.
On Wednesday, the Post published a column by Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. She said the writer first visited the consulate on September 28 "despite being somewhat concerned that he could be in danger". He later returned October 2 after being promised needed paperwork so the two could be married.
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Khashoggi's fiance has asked US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to "help shed light" on his disappearance.
Mr Trump, who took his first overseas trip as United States president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi.
On Tuesday, the foreign ministry in Ankara said that Saudi authorities will allow Turkish authorities to search the consulate premises.
Top Turkish officials fear he was murdered and that his dismembered body was flown out of the country.
The footage all seemed to come from surveillance cameras, which would have been posted throughout the district housing the Saudi consulate and other diplomatic missions. However, a police search revealed that they did not take the luggage on their return.
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Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince, who has also presided over a roundup of activists and businessmen. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on October 9 invited Turkish experts and relevant officials to visit its Istanbul consulate.
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