Monday, 12 November, 2018

Jamal Khashoggi: Trump condemns Saudi writer's disappearance

The image taken from Turkey's Daily Sabah shows 15 Saudi operatives suspected of having killed Kamal Khashoggi upon his arrival at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Report: U.S. Knew of Saudi Plan to Capture WaPo Columnist, Failed to Stop It
Andy Castillo | 12 October, 2018, 04:00

Investigators are also zooming in on a vehicle seen entering and leaving the building after Khashoggi went inside.

The U.S. intelligence intercepts are the latest piece of evidence implicating the Saudi government in Khashoggi's death, which has sparked a diplomatic crisis for the Trump administration, particularly for President Trump and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

"There are other things we can do", he added, without elaborating.

Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz wrote an op-ed imploring Trump and the first lady to help, and has written a letter to the White House has gotten the pair's attention. "If I had to bet today, they ordered it, they killed him and probably very high level people were aware of it", Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Al Jazeera. "This is a bad situation. We can't let it happen".

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a longtime critic of the Saudi government, has said he'll try to force a vote in the Senate blocking US arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Sen.

They asked Trump to determine whether "a foreign person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violation of internationally recognised human rights" and report back in 120 days with a decision on the imposition of sanctions on whoever was responsible.

Graham also drew a distinction between reacting to Khashoggi's death with economic sanctions and curtailing U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia or limiting U.S. military support for the war in Yemen. "Part of that is what we are doing with our defense systems and everybody is wanting them and frankly, I think that would be a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country". TV channels broadcast videos of what they said were the men arriving at the airport and checking into hotels, as well as footage of auto traffic outside the consulate before and after Khashoggi's disappearance, including a black van with blacked out windows that the police find suspicious.

Many lawmakers, including some Republicans, have already questioned USA support for Saudi's involvement in Yemen's civil war, which has prompted a humanitarian crisis.

Twenty-two Republican and Democrat senators sent a letter on Wednesday to the Trump administration to investigate the Khashoggi case by invoking the Global Magnitsky Act of 2016. "We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as available", Sanders added.

Jamal Khashoggi was killed on the orders of Saudi leadership, Turkish officials revealed to the New York Times.

On the curious case of Khashoggi's disappearance
On Thursday, President Trump told reporters that the White House is looking "very strongly" at Khashoggi's disappearance. Khashoggi's disappearance is likely to further deepen divisions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

"Well, I think that would be hurting us", he said.

The worldwide implications of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance deepened after the "Washington Post" reported that U.S. intelligence was aware the Saudi government was planning to kidnap the journalist. Paul is pushing Congress to block future arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Turkish media released police CCTV surveillance videos said to be of a Saudi "assassination squad".

Saudi Arabia has called the allegations "baseless" and said that Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed, but didn't offer any evidence.

The US peace group Code Pink mounted a protest in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington Wednesday, brandishing signs saying "Where is Jamal Khashoggi?" and "Khashoggi: Another Victim of Saudi Violence".

Saudi Arabia is one of the United States' strongest allies in the region.

The Post, a newspaper to which Khashoggi contributed, cited unnamed USA officials as saying that Saudi officials had been heard discussing a plan to lure Khashoggi from the U.S. state of Virginia, where he resided, and detain him.

A source told the Washington Post that U.S. intelligence "intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him".

Khashoggi had first left Saudi Arabia a year ago, saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy in the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent. Murphy is part of a growing call in Congress to check USA support - which includes aerial refueling and arms sales - amid reports Saudi airstrikes have killed civilians. "I don't trust them one bit".

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