MİDDLE EAST

Saudi royal family linked to 15-member squad suspected in Khashoggi’s death

The connections between the suspects linked to the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi royal family and military have been exposed

Editor / Internet Yeni Şafak

The links between the 15-man squad that arrived on two planes and entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul while journalist Jamal Khashoggi was inside and the royal Saudi family and military have been exposed.

Jamal Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents related to his forthcoming marriage. His fiancée, waiting outside, said he never emerged and Turkish sources said they believe that Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policies, was killed inside the mission.

Muhammed Saad H. Alzahrani, who is one of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s close guards, was a part of the squad. Alzahrani touched down in Turkey at 4:29 p.m. local time (1329GMT) on a charter plane. He stayed at the Wyndham Grand Hotel and left the country on a private jet which belonged to Sky Prime Aviation company at 9:44 p.m. local time (1844GMT).

Thaar Ghaleb T. Alharbi, who is also one of Salman’s guards, was also a part of the squad. Alharbi arrived at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport on a private jet which belonged to the Sky Prime Aviation company. He entered the country at 3:41 a.m. local time (0041GMT) and stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel. He left the country at 5:44 p.m. (1444GMT) on a private jet.

Alzahrani and Alharbi can be seen in a picture standing close to Salman during a ceremony.

Mansur Othman M. Abahussain

Mansur Othman M. Abahussain is a lieutenant colonel in the Saudi army, and his specialization is civilian protection. Abahussain arrived at Atatürk Airport on a charter plane. He entered the country at 4:13 p.m. local time (1313GMT) and stayed at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. He left the country at 9:45 p.m. (1845GMT) local time.

Maher Abdulaziz M. Mutreb

Maher Abdulaziz M. Mutreb is also a member of the Saudi army. He arrived on a private jet at Atatürk Airport, and passed through passport control at 03:38 a.m. (0038GMT). He stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel during his visit and left the country at 05:49 p.m. (1449GMT).

Naif Hassan S. Alarifi

Naif Hassan S. Alarifi, who is an officer of the Saudi army, landed at Atatürk Airport on a charter plane. He entered the country at 4:12 p.m. local time (1312GMT) and stayed at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. He left the country at 9:45 p.m. local time (1845GMT) on a private jet which belonged to Sky Prime Aviation company.

Waleed Abdullah M. Alsehri, who is a military officer of the Saudi Air Forces, landed at Atatürk Airport on a private jet which belonged to the Sky Prime Aviation company. He entered the country at 3:41 a.m. local time (GMT0041), stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel, and left the country at 5:44 p.m. local time (1444GMT) on a charter plane.

Meshal Saad M. Albostani

Meshal Saad M. Albostani, who is a lieutenant of the Saudi Air Forces, entered the country at 1:45 a.m. local time (2245GMT). He stayed at the Wyndham Grand Hotel and left the country at 9:46 p.m. local time (1846GMT) on a private jet which belonged to the Sky Prime Aviation company.

Salah Muhammed A. Tubaigy

Salah Muhammed A. Tubaigy landed at Ataturk Airport on a private jet which belonged to the Sky Prime Aviation company. He entered the country at 3:38 a.m. (0038GMT) local time on Oct. 2, stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel, and left the country at 8:29 p.m. local time (1729GMT) on a private jet. Tubaigy was allegedly heading the team who cleaned up after the alleged murder at the consulate. He is in charge of the Forensic Medicine Institution in Riyadh.

Consulate search deferred

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday invited Turkish experts and relevant officials to visit the consulate, however Turkish authorities were asked on Wednesday to defer the search of the consulate. Once allowed to enter, teams will search the premises with special equipment and chemicals that will reveal whether blood was spilt. However, it must be noted that there are no DNA or blood samples belonging to Khashoggi in Turkey.

Looking for clues

Two senior Turkish officials revealed the existence of an object that may provide important clues to Khashoggi’s fate: the black Apple watch he was wearing when he entered the consulate. The watch was connected to a mobile phone he left outside, they said.

A Saudi source told Reuters that British intelligence believed there had been an attempt to drug Khashoggi inside the consulate that culminated in an overdose. He said the information came from a British intelligence source. Contacted by Reuters, British intelligence did not comment. Asked about this account, a Saudi official said: “This death is not true.”

Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia last year saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy over the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent, and since then wrote columns for the Washington Post newspaper.

Turkish officials know when and where Khashoggi was killed

“We know when Jamal was killed, in which room he was killed and where the body was taken to be dismembered. If the forensic team are allowed in, they know exactly where to go,” a Turkish source told The Middle East Eye.

“Turkish officials say they know when and where in the building the veteran Saudi journalist was killed and are considering whether to dig up the consul-general's garden to see whether his remains are buried there.”

The Saudi squad “dragged Khashoggi out of the office and into another room where they killed him. Khashoggi's body was then dragged into a third room and dismembered,” The Middle East Eye reported.

Khashoggi incident to damage Saudi’s international relations

“It is my opinion that an event unlike anything seen in the 21st century has come to pass. It is a critical period for our country. I believe that, in any case, Saudi Arabia's relations with other countries will be severely damaged, particularly those with Turkey. Such an undertaking outside the rules of diplomacy and the rule of law in our country against their own citizen will certainly not be left unanswered and the necessary response will be given,” Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi told Anadolu Agency in an interview.

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