US raises pressure on Saudi Arabia over missing journalist

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US raises pressure on Saudi Arabia over missing journalist

US President Donald Trump increased pressure on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to provide information on what happened to missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and said he wanted to get the bottom of what he called "a very serious situation".

Turkish media outlets, as well as The Post, published photos and a video of an alleged Saudi "assassination squad" that traveled to Turkey last week and was at the Saudi Consulate at the same time that Mr. Khashoggi visited the diplomatic post.

Khashoggi disappeared a week ago and was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he went to pick up a document he needed for his planned marriage. Bob Corker, who as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has reviewed USA intelligence on the case, said it was likely that Khashoggi was killed the day he walked into the consulate. Saudi Arabia denies this.

USA intelligence officials reportedly intercepted communications that the Saudis discussed a plan to lure and capture Khashoggi before his disappearance.

"We need to take some type of action, and there are some things we can do congressionally", he said.

Turkey has backed Qatar in its dispute with Saudi Arabia and its neighbors.

What else does the video show?

There is no footage that shows him leaving, they said. They allegedly arrived in Istanbul on board at least two private jets in the early hours of October 2 and checked into two five-star hotels - the Movenpick and the Wyndham. The video shows aircraft waiting on the tarmac.

According to some friends of Khashoggi, over the past four months, senior Saudi officials close to bin Salman had called Khashoggi to offer him protection and even a high-level job working for the government if he returned to his home country.

This much is true: He entered the consulate, and there's no proof that he came out. Corker said "everything points to them".

According to the Washington Post, U.S. intelligence "intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture" Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia's regime. She added that she believes Khashoggi is still alive, but conceded that her optimism may be an attempt to "hide from the thought that I have lost a great man whose love I had earned".

The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi was a contributor, published a surveillance image Tuesday showing the Saudi reporter at the consulate.

A Turkish security source had previously told Reuters that the 15 Saudis, including some officials, left Turkey later the same day.

"What happened to this respected and noble man, Jamal Khashoggi, is a crime of lowness, vulgar and treachery, and a crime against humanity, the right of the press, free of speech", he said.

Saudi Arabia asserts the allegations are "baseless". But this is not simply one side's word against the other.

Ned Price, a former Obama administration official, said he did not "foresee a strategic reorientation" in U.S. -Saudi ties unless Congress forces the administration's hand.

A total of 25 to 30 professional and non-professional journalists are now believed to be detained in Saudi Arabia, which is ranked 169th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index, the organisation also said.

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