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SAUDI ARABIA & THE DISAPPEARANCE OF JOURNALIST JAMAL KHASHOGGI
#1
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^ Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi (born 13 October 1958) is a missing Saudi journalist and Washington Post opinion columnist, author and the former general manager and editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel. He also served as editor for Saudi newspaper Al Watan, turning it into a platform for moderate Saudi progressives.

Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in September 2017 and was a resident of the United States thereafter. He has since written newspaper articles critical of the Saudi government.

Khashoggi is a high-profile critic of Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman (aka MBS) and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

He has also criticised the Saudi Arabian-led coalition intervention in Yemen (I'm with him on that one).

Khashoggi befriended Osama bin Laden in the 1980s and 1990s in Afghanistan and Sudan while championing his jihad against the Soviets dispatches.

At that same time, he was employed by the Saudi intelligence services to try to persuade bin Laden to make peace with the Saudi Royal Family.

Khashoggi interviewed bin Laden several times. It is reported that Khashoggi once tried to persuade bin Laden to quit violence.
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#2
Disappearance

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A little over a week ago, ^ Khashoggi walked into the consulate general in Istanbul, Turkey.

He was intending to get paperwork that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée, who was waiting in the car outside the consulate.  Khashoggi never came back to the car.

Officials and journalists have scrambled to piece together the story of what happened to Jamal Khashoggi ever since.

Turkish authorities have privately said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, a startling allegation that is firmly denied by the Saudis.

Closed-circuit television footage, flight trackers, intercepted communications and even rumors of a bone saw have served as pieces of a puzzle that has spurred a diplomatic outcry for the U.S. and western countries to cut off ties and deals with Saudi Arabia.

At this time, the Trump administration has not cut off ties or the multi-billion dollar arms deal to Saudi Arabia. However, some major private international companies and media networks have done so.
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#3
Allegations from Turkish Officials

In the latest developments, Turkish security officials concluded that the "highest levels of the royal court" in Saudi Arabia ordered the assassination of Khashoggi, according to a senior official cited by the New York Times.

Turkish officials have said that a 15-person team flew from Saudi Arabia into Istanbul on the day Khashoggi entered the consulate, and they have provided information about two private planes that, they say, were involved in the transit of these Saudis.

The official quoted by the New York Times described the operation as "quick and complex," and that Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate. The agents "dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose,"the Turkish official said.

About the only thing that is known for sure about Khashoggi's fate is that he was last seen at 1:14 p.m. local time last Tuesday as he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
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#4
Global Reaction

Khashoggi's disappearance has prompted calls for investigations from around the world.

The kingdom's staunchest Western allies, including the United States, where Khashoggi had applied for permanent residency, have urged Saudi Arabia to come clean.

Trump said Wednesday that he's been in touch with the "highest levels" of the Saudi government about Khashoggi's case and expressed concerns about his possible murder.

He said his administration was pressing the Saudi government to reveal more about the incident.  "We're demanding everything. We want to see what's going on here. It's a bad situation," Trump said in the Oval Office.

But President Trump stopped short of saying whether he believed the Saudis have knowledge about his whereabouts, or may have played a role in his disappearance, stating that not enough was known to make a determination.

(continued)
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#5
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied Turkey's account of the story, saying that Khashoggi left the consulate on the same day he arrived.

A Saudi official said the kingdom "categorically" denies "any involvement in Jamal's disappearance.

"At this stage, our priority is to support the investigation, as opposed to responding to evolving comments not directly related to those efforts. Jamal's well-being, as a Saudi citizen, is our utmost concern and we are focusing on the investigation as a means to reveal the truth behind his disappearance," the Saudi official said.

But Turkish officials have repeatedly suggested that Khashoggi was murdered by a Saudi hit team and that the Saudi Arabian government is not fully cooperating with the investigation.

One US official told CNN that the US is examining communications intercepts to see if it can learn any more about what may have happened.

US officials think it's possible the crown prince MBS wanted Khashoggi silenced, but miscalculated the global impact his disappearance would have.

The Washington Post -- for which Khashoggi wrote critical columns -- said US intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture the journalist. Citing a person familiar with the information, the Post said the Saudis wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there.

It was not clear whether the Saudis intended to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him, or if the United States warned Khashoggi that he was a target, the source told the Post.
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#6
Saudi Crown Prince MBS

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MBS and Trump adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner are reportedly very close following Kushner's three day visit to Saudi Arabia.

During that visit, the two powerful young men reportedly stayed up late into the nights strategizing about MBS's desire to modernize the Kingdom and the country.

Shortly thereafter, MBS facilitated a forced takeover of power, which he claims was motivated by a desire to rid the Kingdom of 'corruption', a narrative supported by Kushner and President Trump.

However, many speculate that MBS simply pulled off a power grab and is corrupt himself. 

His critics contend that he granted women in Saudi Arabia the permission to drive cars and go to movies in order to appear progressive.
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#7
I've been following this story and today applauded every time one more person or organization dropped out of the Saudi Future Investment program. Fuck 'em.

I've been reading rumors about Jamal's Apple watch and what data it may have recorded. I sure hope there's some truth to that and not wishful thinking.
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#8
Motive:  Ties to 9 / 11 Terror Attack?

Khashoggi was the only non-royal Saudi who knew of the royals’ intimate dealing with al Qaeda in the lead-up to the 9 / 11 terror attacks against the United States.

A former colleague of Jamal Khashoggi revealed that's why he believes the royals in Riyadh wanted Khashoggi dead.

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^ John R. Bradley says Khashoggi 'had dirt' on Saudi ties to Osama bin Laden related to the attack.

While 15 of the 19 terrorists who attacked the United States on 9 /11 / 2001 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, the United States retaliated against Iraq (using baseless WMD possession charges against Saddam Hussein as justification, we now know). 

The other four 9 / 11 terrorists were from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon.

Bradley also said that MBS considered Khashoggi a threat to his vision for the kingdom.
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#9
This is an ongoing global mystery and investigation which could have significant impacts on foreign relations, journalist protections, state-sponsored terrorism, etc...


Sources for above posts:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamal_Khashoggi
https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/10/middleeas...index.html
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article..._Khashoggi
https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/1...-in-turkey
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/world...ssent.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nat...f2c4dc2302
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#10
(10-12-2018, 02:31 PM)Duchess Wrote: I've been following this story and today applauded every time one more person or organization dropped out of the Saudi Future Investment program. Fuck 'em.

I've been reading rumors about Jamal's Apple watch and what data it may have recorded. I sure hope there's some truth to that and not wishful thinking.

That would sure be helpful if it's true and officials can access the recording.  The more evidence, the better.

The Turks say they've got all kinds of audio evidence to back their allegations against the Saudis. 

However, according to Turskish officials, they are hesitant to release it because they don't want to compromise their intelligence agents/processes used at embassies and consulates.

And, there's some reason not to accept Turkey's claims without some skepticism.

Primarily as a result of the weird diplomatic backflip against Qatar by the U.S. (in relation to communications with Saudi Arabia), the relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia is tumultuous, with Turkey supporting Qatar against Saudi Arabia in the ongoing diplomatic dispute.

Also, according to Pew opinion polls, Turks hold the most negative view of Saudi Arabia out of any surveyed Muslim country, with 53% of Turks expressing an unfavorable view.
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#11
Did you see the latest Duchess?

Sure seems like Turkey has turned over both video and audio to support their claims that the Saudis tortured, killed and dismembered Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Also, Senator Bob Corker gave an interview today. He's part of the Foreign Relations Committee, so he's seen the intel gathered thus far.

To me, Corker seemed very convinced and a little freaked out that our ally Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of Trump/Kushner-backed Crown Prince MBS, murdered a Washington Post journalist, apparently without worry that they'd face any consequences.

Corker said he didn't want to confirm anything, but he said much more than I would have expected.
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#12
"The free press is the enemy of the people" -- President Donald Trump (over and over and over at public forums).

If Trump's buddies in Saudi Arabia are shown to have brazenly killed Khashoggi, I think that inflammatory and untrue claim may bite Trump in the ass.

I think it should bite him in the ass.  Journalists are at risk just by the nature of their work, which is essential to democracy.  

Painting them as 'enemies' obviously heightens that risk and is highly irresponsible and un-presidential, to put it mildly.
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#13
I figured they'd turn up either audio or video of his murder, I doubt there are any embassies/consulates in existence that don't have spyware.
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#14
(10-12-2018, 06:35 PM)Rootilda Wrote: I figured they'd turn up either audio or video of his murder, I doubt there are any embassies/consulates in existence that don't have spyware.

The Turkish pro-government media is citing Khashoggi's Apple Watch (which Duchess mentioned upthread) as the source for the audio evidence.

I think you're right about all consulates having at least surveillance video as well, though Turkey was initially being cautious about acknowledging and releasing it.

Will be interesting to see where this goes.
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#15
I heard Trump offered to have his wedding at a trump property just in case they didn't get him at the embassy.
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#16
(10-12-2018, 06:15 PM)HairOfTheDog Wrote: Did you see the latest Duchess?

Sure seems like Turkey has turned over both video and audio to support their claims that the Saudis tortured, killed and dismembered Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

No, I hadn't heard that yet! That's wonderful to read. I knew they'd probably have to in order for it to be believed.

There are a number of people tying Kushner to MBS. This friggin' administration better do the right thing! I know we have to deal with the Saudis but they are not a friend to America.
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#17
(10-12-2018, 06:43 PM)HairOfTheDog Wrote:
(10-12-2018, 06:35 PM)Rootilda Wrote: I figured they'd turn up either audio or video of his murder, I doubt there are any embassies/consulates in existence that don't have spyware.

The Turkish pro-government media is citing Khashoggi's Apple Watch (which Duchess mentioned upthread) as the source for the audio evidence.

...

Holy shit, that's incredibly invasive. I mean, it's a good thing in this case but think how that could be (mis)used.
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#18
(10-12-2018, 06:44 PM)BigMark Wrote: I heard Trump offered to have his wedding at a trump property just in case they didn't get him at the embassy.

hah
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#19
His own phone captured the dismemberment! That's just gotta really suck. Those Arabian fucks are like a Mexican cartel.
You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.
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#20
There's some thought that Turkey may be pushing the Apple watch story hard because apparently it's illegal to bug an embassy for sound & video. hah Take it for what it's worth, nothing has been confirmed.

Not laughing at the seriousness of an apparent murder, not at all.
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