• Bin Salman's bodyguard killed critic journalist: Turkish newspaper

A Turkish newspaper, Yeni Shafagh has reported that the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was carried out by the bodyguard of crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman.

Iran Press/Middle East: Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah earlier on Wednesday (October 9. 2018) said it had identified a 15-member intelligence team it said was involved in the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Sabah newspaper published the names and years of birth of 15 Saudis it said arrived at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on Oct. 2. Twelve of them arrived early on the Tuesday, based on photos captured at passport control which it published.

It's added in the report of Yeni Shafagh newspaper that the first intelligence team that killed the journalist left Turkey a few minutes later and the second group's mission was to eliminate the effects of the crime.

15-member intelligence team it said was involved in the killing of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul to get documents related to his forthcoming marriage. His fiancée, waiting outside, said he never emerged.

Security camera footage was removed from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and Turkish staff were abruptly told to take a holiday on the day the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared while inside the building, Turkish authorities have claimed.

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The Turkish government has claimed it has audio and video recordings that prove Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul this month, according to US and Turkish officials.

The recordings show that a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi in the consulate after he walked in on 2 October to obtain an official document before his upcoming wedding, then killed him and dismembered his body, the officials said.

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Recordings are evidence of Khashoggi's killing: Turkey

The audio recording in particular provides some of the most persuasive and gruesome evidence that the Saudi team is responsible for Khashoggi's death, the officials said.

"The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered," said one person with knowledge of the recording who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive intelligence.

"You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic," this person said. "You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered."

A second person briefed on the recording said men could be heard beating Khashoggi.

The existence of such evidence would explain why Turkish officials were quick to blame Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi's killing. But Turkish officials are wary of releasing the recordings, fearing they could divulge how the Turks spy on foreign entities in their country, the officials said.

Saudi officials have denied any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, saying he left the consulate shortly after entering.

Turkey said on Thursday it has agreed to a request by Saudi Arabia to form a joint committee to probe what happened to Khashoggi.

Mohammed bin Salman has billed himself as a reformer and moderating force in the country, and he has become a key strategic partner in particular to Jared Kushner, the US president's son-in-law and senior adviser.

Kushner has tried to promote Mohammed to sceptical national security officials, who have long viewed him as an impetuous and ruthless leader who has an overly simplistic view of the complex challenges the United States faces in the Middle East.

During a bill signing on Thursday in the Oval Office, Donald Trump called Khashoggi's suspected murder "a terrible thing," but stopped short of assigning blame, Independent reported.

"We're looking at it very strongly," Trump said. "We'll be having a report out soon. We're working with Turkey; we're working with Saudi Arabia. What happened is a terrible thing, assuming that it happened. I mean, maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised, but somehow I tend to doubt it."

Khashoggi, 59, had been both a consummate Saudi insider and a bold critic during his career. He was at one time the editor of a major Saudi newspaper, at another an adviser to Saudi ambassadors in Britain and the United States.

He was known to journalists as someone who could explain the politics of the House of Saud and its several thousand princes. But with the ascent last year of bin Salman, who is known for ruthless suppression of any opposition or criticism, Khashoggi became a critic in self-imposed exile.

According to Independent, within the White House, on Capitol Hill and among US intelligence officials there is a growing belief that Khashoggi is dead and that Saudi Arabia is to blame.

That conclusion is driven in part by US intelligence reports before Khashoggi's disappearance that show prince Mohammad Bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, where he was to be detained. US officials familiar with the reports described them to The Washington Post.

Despite a growing demand for information about Khashoggi's whereabouts, US officials had few public answers on Thursday more than a week after he went missing.

On Capitol Hill, some lawmakers were frustrated that the White House had not disclosed more information about Khashoggi before and after he disappeared. Some lawmakers said the administration should consider curtailing sales of weapons to the kingdom.

"Arms sales are certainly going to be, I think, a huge concern if there is responsibility that is irrefutable," Senator Cory Gardner, R-Colo, said of any potential evidence supporting Saudi Arabia's role in Khashoggi's murder.

Read more:

UN secretary general, Guterres "very concerned" about Saudi journalist's fate

International rights groups condemn Saudi journalist murder

Saudi journalist killed inside consulate: Turkish authorities

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Oct 13, 2018 07:20 Asia/Tehran
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