US intelligence reportedly intercepted Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture a journalist who recently disappeared

Jamal Khashoggi

US intelligence intercepted discussions among Saudi officials to capture journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who recently disappeared and is feared to be dead, The Washington Post reported.
Khashoggi disappeared last week after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish officials believe Khashoggi was likely killed inside the consulate.

US intelligence intercepted discussions among Saudi officials to capture journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who recently disappeared and is feared murdered, The Washington Post reported.

The discussions, which were relayed to The Post via a person familiar with the information, occurred before Khashoggi disappeared. The officials reportedly wanted to “lure” Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia — his native country — and “lay hands on him there,” the person told The Post.

The Post said it’s not clear what the officials were planning. It’s also unclear if US intelligence warned him in any way.

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council declined to comment.

Khashoggi disappeared earlier this month after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents to marry his Turkish fiancée, who waited outside. His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, said she waited for roughly 11 hours, but he never came out.

Turkish officials have since said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate by a 15-man team sent to Istanbul via private jets under orders from the “highest levels” of the government. They have said the team killed Khashoggi, dismembered his body with a bone saw, placed it in boxes, and transported it back to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has vehemently denies the allegations and claimed Khashoggi left the consulate. Video footage shows Khashoggi entering the consulate, but there’s no evidence he left. Some footage from the consulate has mysteriously vanished, according to Turkish authorities.

Khashoggi has often been critical of the Saudi government in his reporting. He was once closely linked to the royal family, but left the country amid Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to consolidate power. The prince has arrested prominent Saudis, including friends of Khashoggi.

Since leaving Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi has written for The Washington Post. The paper has expressed deep concern over his well-being since his disappearance.

SEE ALSO: ‘They’ve got some explaining to do’: The case of a missing Washington Post columnist raises more questions after reports suggests he was murdered by Saudi agents

DON’T MISS: Search for vanished Saudi critic takes bizarre turn with missing video, murder allegations, and switching stories

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Source:: Business Insider


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