649848 tn?1534633700

Suspects in disappearance of Khashoggi linked to Saudi security services

October 16 at 11:38 PM

Three days before Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in the United States earlier this year for a nationwide tour, another Saudi traveler who identifies online as a member of the Saudi Royal Guard also arrived in Washington, passport records show. His stay overlapped with that of the prince.

Two times before that, this traveler had made other trips to the United States that coincided with visits by top members of the Saudi royal family, including King Salman and another one of his sons.

That same traveler, Khalid Aedh Alotaibi, has now appeared on a list provided by Turkish officials of 15 Saudis who Turkey alleges participated in the disappearance and alleged killing of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate on Oct. 2. On Tuesday, Turkish officials provided passport scans for seven members of what they called a hit squad, and that information helped confirm Alotaibi’s travels to Washington.

Alotaibi is one of 11 Saudis included on the list who have ties to the Saudi security services, according to their posts on social media, emails, local media reports and other material reviewed by The Washington Post.

Two weeks after the disappearance of Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section and critic of the Saudi government, there is mounting scrutiny of the 15 men identified by Turkey as members of the Saudi team involved in his death. Turkey released the list as a way to demonstrate Saudi involvement in the killing.

According to the Turkish account and flight information, the 15 men arrived in Istanbul on Oct. 2 — most of them early in the morning — and then departed in the hours after Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Saudi officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance and say they have no information about his whereabouts. They say he left the consulate shortly after he arrived to obtain a document he needed for an upcoming marriage.

Saudi Arabia has made no official statement about the men or said why they may have been in Istanbul on Oct. 2. A report on the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya news channel said the 15 were “tourists” who had been falsely accused.

U.S. officials now expect the Saudi government to accept responsibility for the death of Khashoggi in an explanation that shields the powerful crown prince from fault, said a diplomat familiar with the situation. The diplomat spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.

With President Trump suggesting that Khashoggi might have died at the hands of “rogue killers,” attention has increasingly focused on the identities of the men on the list and their reported links to the Saudi government, security services and the crown prince himself.

Alotaibi and eight others identified as suspects by Turkish officials appear to have profiles on MenoM3ay — a phone directory app popular in the Arab world — identifying themselves as members of the Saudi security forces, with some claiming to be members of the Royal Guard.

In one instance, Alotaibi identified himself with a symbol for the Royal Guard. In another, someone else saved him in their contacts with the same symbol for the security force, which is charged with protecting the royal family.

Repeated attempts to contact Alotaibi using the phone number listed in the app were unsuccessful.

Five of the eight others are repeatedly identified in the app as either officers in the Royal Guard or employees of the royal palace.

Two of the Saudis on the list, Naif Hassan S. Alarifi and Saif Saad Q. Alqahtani, are repeatedly identified in the app as even closer to the royal family — specifically as employees of the “Crown Prince office.”

The Post could not independently confirm that either man works for the crown prince. Phone calls placed to the numbers in the app over several days were not answered or showed that the phones were turned off. The Saudi Embassy in Washington has not responded to repeated requests for comment on the 15 men since last week.

Four men with those same names, however, self-identify in Facebook and other social media posts or have been quoted in Saudi news articles as members of the country’s security forces.

Another one of the suspects who appears to identify himself on the app as a member of the Saudi security forces is Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb. A decade ago, Mutreb was listed as the first secretary at the Saudi Embassy in London, according to a British list of diplomats.

Mutreb’s name also appears in hacked emails released three years ago by WikiLeaks. In an email sent to officials at an Italian security firm in 2011, a Saudi official identified Mutreb as among embassy staff who would receive advanced security training.

The New York Times reported late Tuesday that Mutreb had frequently accompanied and been photographed in proximity to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on official trips to Madrid, Paris, Houston, Boston and the United Nations.

In the article, the Times reported that it had found evidence that at least nine of the 15 Saudis on the list provided by Turkey worked for the Saudi military, security services or other government branches.

Another man identified by Turkish officials is Muhammed Saad Alzahrani, who is also identified on the app as a member of the Royal Guard. A video showing a man wearing a black security uniform bearing the same name was posted on YouTube last year guarding the crown prince as he greeted visitors.

The guard in the video closely resembles the picture of Zahrani in a passport image provided to The Post on Tuesday.

Reached by phone Tuesday on a number listed in MenoM3ay, Zahrani denied being in Turkey and declined to say if he works for the crown prince, saying what he does for a living “is personal information.” When told that The Post had been provided a copy of what purported to be his passport from Turkish officials, which includes patriarchal names, Zahrani asked if a reporter knew his mother’s name. The reporter said he did not, and Zahrani hung up.

Among the most prominent names on the Saudi team list is Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy, a forensic expert known for pioneering rapid and mobile autopsies, who flew into Istanbul shortly after Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate and flew out nine hours later, Turkish officials say.

Tubaigy, 47, is a top professor in the criminal evidence department at Naif Arab University for Security Sciences. He presides over master thesis classes on identifying bones through DNA analysis and how the use of formaldehyde limits genetic tissue analysis.

But Tubaigy is also close to Saudi security operations, teaching and providing expert opinions on evidence collection and investigation. In 2014, he persuaded Saudi officials to let him help design and purchase a $2.5 million tractor-trailer-size autopsy lab to accompany Muslims on the hajj to Mecca.

In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat, a London-based Arabic news organization, he touted the truck as a first-of-its-kind in the world. The mobile autopsy operation, he said, could provide preliminary analysis on some diseases in seven minutes and “provide the dissection service to the security authorities in a record time.”

Tubaigy has not responded to email and phone messages left at three numbers associated with the profile he had set up on an Arabic subscription phone app.

Cunningham reported from Istanbul. Julie Tate and John Hudson in Washington and Souad Mekhennet and Kareem Fahim in Istanbul contributed to this report.

6 Responses
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206807 tn?1331936184
Things about Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, the Media hasn't been talking about, his Grandfather was the personal Dr. of the Founder (First King of Saudi Arabia)

Jamal's uncle was Billionaire Adnan Khashoggi. A commercial pioneer, he established companies in Switzerland and Liechtenstein to handle his commissions as well as developing contacts with notables such as CIA officers James H. Critchfield and Kim Roosevelt and United States businessman Bebe Rebozo, a close associate of U.S. President Richard Nixon.

His yacht, the Nabila, was the largest in the world at the time and was used in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again. After Khashoggi ran into financial problems he sold the yacht to the Sultan of Brunei, who in turn sold it for $29 million to Donald Trump, who sold it for $20 million[12] to Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal as part of a deal to keep his Taj Mahal casino out of bankruptcy. Khashoggi was implicated in the Iran–Contra affair as a key middleman in the arms-for-hostages exchange along with Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar and, in a complex series of events.

In 1988, Khashoggi was arrested in Switzerland, accused of concealing funds, and held for three months. Khashoggi stopped fighting extradition when the U.S. prosecutors reduced the charges to obstruction of justice and mail fraud and dropped the more serious charges of racketeering and conspiracy. In 1990, a United States federal jury in Manhattan acquitted Khashoggi and Imelda Marcos, widow of the exiled Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, of racketeering and fraud.

Adnan Khashoggi's sister was author Samira Khashoggi who married businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed and was the mother of Dodi Fayed Jamal's 1st cousin).[Dodi and Princess Diane were killed in a suspicious car wreck. Fayed's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, has claimed that the couple was executed by MI6 agents.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamal_Khashoggi          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adnan_Khashoggi
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Maybe they weren't saying anything about that stuff because what does it really matter if his yacht got sold to Donald Trump after he sold it to someone else or if he was "implicated" in something as long as he was acquitted of charges against him.  He was living the U.S. legally, from what I've heard and only went to the consulate to attain permission to marry his fiance.

It appears this is the "next shiny object" that's to occupy Congress and the American public while something else is happening in the Administration that we aren't supposed to see...

I'm skeptical of anyone who says the United States is looking out for international human rights after what just happened with the Supreme Court debacle...
I WILL say that **I** found that fascinating!  Wow, it's such a web, isn't it?
206807 tn?1331936184
I found this interesting -
Citing a report from Middle East Eye, the Independent said in December 2016 that (Jamal) Khashoggi had been banned by Saudi Arabian authorities from publishing or appearing on television "for criticizing U.S. President-elect Donald Trump".[34
You might want to read this for yourself I found it interesting but the dates jumped around so much I couldn't follow for obvious reasons.
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649848 tn?1534633700
I did read the link... I'm not real big on wikipedia because it's written by anyone who wants to write and can be edited by anyone, as well.  I didn't take time to verify everything they said.  

I've not heard anywhere else that Khashoggi was banned from Saudi television for criticizing Trump but that wouldn't surprise me.  If you recall, Saudi Arabia was Trump's first overseas visit and they really made big over him.  There were ties between them before Trump was elected and I've no doubt whatsoever that Trump is making lots and lots of money off the Saudi's while he's president, which is probably why he doesn't want to admit that the Saudi's are deeply involved in Khashoggi's murder...
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206807 tn?1331936184
Yes, I agree about Wikipedia, but there is very little coverage out there, other than the stuff we see on the news. People seem to forgetTrump is a businessman and that is his life. When this President chapter is over with, that is where he will return. Even though he doesn't act like it, he is a very intelligent man. I imagine he is P. O. over this, not because a man lost his life but, because it's going to be a major set back. I have noticed the Dems have been somewhat quiet. Maybe there are some "greased palms" over there too. I know that I sound like a conspiracy nut but there are so many questions like why was the murder carried out so sloppy? They could have easily had him taken out by a sniper or even a Grenade Launcher without obviously involving anyone. Was his future wife and/or inlaws involved? Keep in mind, this was his 4th marriage and they knew the heat was on him so, I doubt the dream of "a match made in heaven" overshadowed the reality of the danger and persecution this family would have been in. I did find this link and found some of it quite interesting.  
    I guess with the caravan of immigrants and the attempted pipe bombs, it's well on its way to be covered up,                  

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I'm not familiar with the Spectator as far as journalism goes so I don't know how accurate the reporting is but that's an interesting article for sure.

I think you're right though... the caravan and the explosives being sent around the country are going to take precedence over Khashoggi, at this point.  His story is going to die - well it already pretty much has (pardon the pun) and that investigation will end up going by the wayside in favor of more shinier new toys.
973741 tn?1342342773
I find this all incredible.  Did you all see the video of one of the Saudi suspects wearing Khashaoggi's outfit, meeting with another man, going into a bathroom and coming out in different clothes, carrying a bag and throwing said bag away?  Speculation that they were trying to pretend it was Khashoggi.  A little elaborate of a scheme but dumb.
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The entire scheme was dumb. As I mentioned above post "why was the murder carried out so sloppy? They could have easily had him taken out by a sniper or even a Grenade Launcher without obviously involving anyone. Like Dr. Ford, it will soon be gone (see how fast it works)?
Yes I saw the man walking around in Khashoggi's clothes, etc.

They had said at the beginning that a man arrived carrying a "large" suitcase and he left the next day, also with his large suitcase.  I thought that was rather odd... why travel with such a large suitcase for overnight.  I can't get out of my mind that Khashoggi's body might have been in that suitcase when he left...
I think the underestimated the back lash or arrogantly thought they would be above it.  Sloppy is right!  And that a Turkish embassy employee taped it all .  .  .  
It was pretty sloppy and supposedly it was taped, but nobody really seems to have seen/heard it yet that I know of.  I did hear that the CIA heard a tape, but haven't heard anything further, have you?
649848 tn?1534633700
Oh and you're right - this is almost gone from the news now.  The explosives being sent around the country to the President's critics are now the shiny new toy...
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