Turkish newspaper names 15 Saudis in missing journalist case

Hatice Cengiz, the Turkish fiancée of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and her friends wait in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Turkey

Pro-government Turkish newspaper Sabah said it had identified a 15-member team of suspected Saudi agents who flew into and out of Istanbul on the day of the disappearance.

Whether this refers to the new General Directorate for Investigation as part of new Saudi state security departments created a year ago is unclear. It was unclear from this whether Saudi Arabia wanted to then kill him or arrest him, or if USA officials made Khashoggi aware of this, the source said.

It was reported on Tuesday that the six cars that left the consulate, several hours after Khashoggi had entered, stopped for several hours at the nearby Saudi consul general's residence, a site that has now become a focal point of the investigation into what happened to him.

A surveillance video image surfaced on Tuesday showing Khashoggi walking into the consulate in Istanbul's upscale 4th Levent neighborhood.

The official described a quick and complex operation in which Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate by a team of Saudi agents, who dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the objective.

US intelligence agencies reportedly intercepted Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist who disappeared after visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The other to Cairo, also finally to the Saudi capital.

Khashoggi had written a series of columns for the Washington Post that were critical of Saudi Arabia's assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has led a widely publicised drive to reform the Sunni monarchy but has also presided over the arrests of activists and businessmen. Khashoggi lived in self-imposed exile in the United States.

The search will take place as part of the official investigation, which was being conducted "in an intense manner", he said without giving any date.

Turkish newspaper names 15 Saudis in missing journalist case
Turkish newspaper names 15 Saudis in missing journalist case

The Saudi regime denies this.

What does Saudi Arabia say?

At 5:32 p.m., cameras show Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, outside the police barricades of the consulate, speaking into her cellphone. The two soon agreed to marry, but in order to do so he needed to finalise his divorce with his first wife in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government maintains that they had nothing to do with Khashoggi's disappearance, and that the journalist left the consulate soon after he got there.

She ultimately waited for more than 10 hours outside the consulate and returned on Wednesday morning when Mr Khashoggi had still not reappeared.

Saudi Arabia remained silent as the images, though not offering definitive proof about Khashoggi's fate, played across television networks in Turkey and around the world. In 2017, the relationship hit what was then considered rock-bottom after Saudi Arabia imposed an economic blockade on neighbouring Qatar, over the latter's alleged support of terrorism in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia insists that he left the consulate shortly after he arrived.

Riyadh and Ankara have also differed on the subject of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where Saudi Arabia has unofficially backed the so-called U.S. "deal of the century", whereas Turkey has condemned the Trump administration's attempt to "force a deal on the Palestinians".

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