Alleged Saudi hit squad linked to Jamal Khashoggi disappearance


The source said that after entering the embassy Khashoggi was taken in a black Mercedes S-500 and a white minivan with four Saudi officials to Istanbul airport, where he was flown on a private jet to Dubai and then Riyadh, where he is now being held.

Turkey's criminal investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is focusing on seven suspects who were filmed near the Gulf country's consulate in Istanbul, according to local media reports.

It was reported on Tuesday that the six cars that left the consulate, several hours after Khashoggi had entered, stopped for several hours at the nearby Saudi consul general's residence, a site that has now become a focal point of the investigation into what happened to him.

Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist, vanished October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Their ambassador to the USA insists that he personally had a friendly relationship with Khashoggi and remained in contact whenever both of them were in Washington.

The Turkish source said Turkish officials were trying to identify them.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who has previously called for the United States to end support for Saudi Arabia over its war in Yemen, also expressed outrage over Khashoggi's disappearance and possible murder.

Relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia have been tense in recent months. "Jamal is a Saudi citizen whose safety and security is a top priority for the Kingdom". Turkey has said it will search the consulate for signs of what happened to Khashoggi, but has not said when it will do so.

Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish woman, wrote an op-ed Tuesday in The Washington Post, the newspaper which also regularly printed commentary by her missing fiancee, Jamal Khashoggi.

Amid more reports emerging on the curious case of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, fingers were pointed toward the executives of huge United States companies that are becoming more close to Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in business ties.

Major American daily newspaper the Washington Post printed a blank column in solidarity with the renowned journalist on Friday.

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US President Donald Trump, in his first comments on the case of disappeared Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said he was "concerned" and hoped the case would "sort itself out".

Trump has instead focused on USA and Saudi shared interests in ratcheting up pressure on Iran. Turkish officials fear the team killed Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"We are aware of and concerned by these reports".

He had been living since a year ago in the United States, in a self-imposed exile, in part due to the rise of Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman.

Later on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that US intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi, citing a source familiar with the situation. "We are now investigating the event in all its dimensions".

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Saudi Arabia denies this.

Writing as a columnist for the Washington Post, articles took aim at the country's conduct in Yemen's civil war, and the crushing of political dissent at home by heir apparent Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Turkey's Anadolu Agency also reported that the group of Saudis were briefly at the consulate.

On Saturday, Yasin Aktay, Erdogan's AK Party adviser and a friend of Khashoggi, told Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera: "We demand a convincing clarification from Saudi Arabia, and what the crown prince offered is not convincing".