U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington has investigators in Turkey working to determine the fate of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi - a claim denied by Turkey.
"We're being very tough. And we have investigators over there and we're working with Turkey, and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia. We want to find out what happened," Trump told the morning news program Fox Friends. "He went in and it doesn't look like he came out. It certainly doesn't look like he's around."
But Turkish diplomatic sources denied Trump’s assertion.
Saudi royal family linked to 15-member squad suspected in Khashoggi’s death
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).Former UK PM Blair says the disappearance of Saudi journalist is extremely troublingThaar 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. AlarifiNaif 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. TubaigySalah 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 deferredSaudi 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.Missing Saudi journalist dismembered with bone saw: NYT Looking for cluesTwo 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.Turkey cannot remain silent over Khashoggi's disappearance, Erdoğan saysTurkish 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.US senators call for probe over missing Saudi columnistKhashoggi 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.Trump discusses Khashoggi with senior Saudi leaderSaudi prince allegedly sought to lure Khashoggi
“The information on the U.S. appointment of an investigator is not true,” sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, told Anadolu Agency.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, has not been heard from since Oct. 2 when he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, amid speculation he was killed by Saudi authorities.
"I don't like it with respect to reporters. It's a terrible, terrible precedent. We can't let it happen," Trump said.
The president said Wednesday he has been in contact with Saudi officials at the highest levels shortly before the Washington Post reported Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sought to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and detain him.
Former UK PM Blair says the disappearance of Saudi journalist is extremely troubling
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Thursday that the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was extremely troubling and went against the spirit of the reforms advocated by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.Khashoggi was last seen on Oct. 2 entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. His fiancée, waiting outside, said he never emerged and Turkish sources said they believe Khashoggi was killed in the building."There is no doubt at all as the American administration and the British government have made clear this is an extremely troubling situation," Blair said at a Reuters Newsmaker in London."I know the Saudi government have issued a very strong denial, but the thing has to be properly investigated and explained," Blair said."This issue has to be resolved because otherwise it runs completely contrary to that process of modernisation."Missing Saudi journalist dismembered with bone saw: NYT US senators call for probe over missing Saudi columnistTrump discusses Khashoggi with senior Saudi leaderEx-US energy secretary suspends role in Saudi projectSaudi prince allegedly sought to lure Khashoggi
The newspaper cited U.S. intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the plan.
Asked about the report, Trump said "it would be a very sad thing" if it were true.
"We will probably know in the very short future," Trump said. "I have to find out what happened, and we're probably getting closer than you might think. But I have to find out what happened."
Missing Saudi journalist dismembered with bone saw: NYT
New allegations have emerge about Riyadh’s link to the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing a week ago after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, intending to get paperwork that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée.According to a senior Turkish official who spoke to The New York Times, the 15-member Saudi intelligence team killed Khashoggi and dismembered his body with a bone saw inside the consulate in Istanbul, on orders from the highest levels of the royal court. “It is like Pulp Fiction,” the official described.The official described the situation in which Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours as a “quick and complex” operation.US senators call for probe over missing Saudi columnistTrump discusses Khashoggi with senior Saudi leaderSaudi Special Forces officers, intelligence officials, national guards and a forensics expert, including the head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics Dr. Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy, were allegedly among the intelligence team, who later smuggled the body out of the country.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 President Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday called on Riyadh to prove its claim that Khashoggi, left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, while the Washington called on Saudi Arabia to support an investigation into his disappearance.Saudi Arabia has dismissed claims that it killed or abducted Khashoggi as baseless accusations.Ex-US energy secretary suspends role in Saudi projectSaudi prince allegedly sought to lure KhashoggiVideo: Footage shows Saudi journalist walking into consulate before disappearing
Saudi authorities have yet to give a clear explanation of Khashoggi fate while several countries -- particularly Turkey, the U.S. and the UK -- have expressed their desire that the matter should be elucidated as soon as possible.
Khashoggi went to the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2 with his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, but was not seen after entering the diplomatic building.
On the same day, 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while Khashoggi was also inside, police sources said. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.
Turkey cannot remain silent over Khashoggi's disappearance, Erdoğan says
Turkey cannot remain silent over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Tayyip Erdoğan said.He added: Turkey is investigating all aspects of the case.Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. Saudi officials say he left shortly afterwards but Turkish officials and his fiancee, who was waiting outside, said he never came out.Erdoğan told reporters on a flight back from Hungary that Turkey is worried about the Khashoggi's disappearance."We are investigating all aspects of the event. It is not possible for us to remain silent regarding such an occurrence, because it is not a common occurrence," he said.He also questioned assertions by Saudi authorities that the consulate does not have footage of Khashoggi leaving the building as the mission's security cameras only provide live footage and do not record images."Is it possible for there to be no camera systems at the Saudi Arabia consulate, where the event took place?," Erdogan said.Fifteen Saudis in journalist Khashoggi’s case identifiedNo proof Khashoggi left Saudi consulate, says fiancéeTrump yet to speak to Saudis about missing journalistTurkey-U.S. deal on Syria's Manbij 'not dead'About Turkey-U.S. deal on Syria's Manbij Erdoğan said:The deal between Turkey and the United States regarding the northern Syrian town of Manbij is delayed "but not completely dead".Turkey and the United States reached a deal in May over Manbij after months of disagreement. Under the deal, the YPG terrorists would withdraw from Manbij and Turkish and U.S. forces would maintain security and stability around the town."There is a delay but (the deal) is not completely dead. U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mattis say they will take concrete steps," Erdogan said.The NATO allies have been carrying out coordinated but independent patrols in the region as part of the deal.On Tuesday, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that joint training of U.S. and Turkish soldiers for patrols in Manbij had begun.Relations between Turkey and the United States were further strained over the past few months by the trial of U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey on terrorism charges, which he denies.Asked about Brunson's trial, Erdoğan said he was not in a position to interfere with the judiciary."Whatever the judiciary decides on, I have to abide by that decision. Those who are involved with this also need to abide by the judiciary's decision," Erdoğan said.The next session in Brunson's trial will be held on Friday.