ISTANBUL – High Saudi leaders deployed a 15-man ‘hit squad’ to lie in await dissident author Jamal Khashoggi inside Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul, The New York Occasions stated in an explosive story.
Among the many assassination staff was a forensic knowledgeable who introduced a bone noticed to dismember Khashoggi’s physique after killing him, the Occasions reported on Tuesday, citing an unidentified “senior official” as saying.
Nevertheless, the information report couldn’t be instantly verified.
The ‘hit squad’ completed the homicide operation inside two hours and departed Turkey for numerous nations, stated the Occasions’ supply, citing data from “high Turkish officers”.
“It’s like Pulp Fiction,” the senior Turkish official was quoted as saying, referring to the graphically violent 1994 Hollywood film by director Quentin Tarantino.
Accusations the Saudi management immediately ordered the alleged assassination of Khashoggi will put additional strain on the US and different allies to demand a clear investigation, with doable critical repercussions to bilateral relations if it doesn’t come to fruition.
Saudi officers have denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged homicide, saying he left the consulate on October 2. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded that Riyadh show his departure from the constructing.
The Turkish authorities hasn’t offered formal proof that would again up the spate of nameless allegations that the Saudi author was killed contained in the Istanbul consulate.
Every day Sabah, a Turkish newspaper with shut ties to the federal government, named and printed images on Tuesday of the alleged 15-member Saudi assassination staff accused of travelling to Istanbul on the day Khashoggi disappeared. The suspects are needed by Turkish authorities for questioning.
In the meantime on Tuesday, the Washington Submit – for whom Khashoggi wrote columns after fleeing Saudi Arabia over fears of retribution for his vital commentary – reported that US intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi officers planning to abduct the outstanding journalist.
“Saudis needed to lure Khashoggi again to Saudi Arabia and lay fingers on him there,” the Submit quoted an individual conversant in the knowledge as saying.
It was not clear whether or not the Saudis supposed to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him – or if the US warned Khashoggi he was a goal, the supply advised the newspaper.
Khashoggi entered the consulate on October 2 to deal with a routine paperwork subject however he by no means got here out, based on household and associates, in addition to Turkish authorities.
The US resident has written articles over the previous yr throughout his self-imposed exile that have been vital of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Khashoggi, 59, has had a protracted profession as a senior journalist in Saudi Arabia and likewise as an adviser to high officers.