DW reports that many of the Saudi agents who murdered Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul last year were trained in the U.S. The training apparently occurred before Khashoggi’s death, and it was part of an “ongoing liaison” between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. The training has been halted.
The leader of the team of men that killed Khashoggi was Maher Mutreb. Mutreb was a colonel in the Saudi intelligence service who allegedly received training in the U.S. He also had a “friendly” relationship with Khashoggi while they both worked in London. Other members of the team also had training in the U.S.
Khashoggi’s death caused the U.S. to stop many security programs, including efforts to modernize Riyadh’s intelligence agencies.
Khashoggi entered the consulate on the 2nd of October to complete his wedding papers. A big placed inside the building by Turkish intelligence captured the journalist’s final moments. The recording revealed that the team was likely dispatched originally to kidnap Khashoggi and bring him back to Saudi Arabia for interrogation. The transcript reveals that Khashoggi told Mutreb that he would not go to Saudi Arabia with him, right before screaming, as he was likely grabbed.
Khashoggi was given a sedative via injection and then a bag was placed over his head. He screamed: “I can’t breathe. I have asthma. Don’t do this.” His subsequent death could have been caused by a sedative overdose, choking, or asphyxiation. A buzzing sound could be heard after Khashoggi died, potentially from an electric saw which dismembered the body.
After Khashoggi’s disappearance, Saudi Arabia said they had no knowledge of where he was. Officials then said that he died following a “fistfight” in the consulate. Later, Riyadh admitted that Khashoggi was murdered, but said it was due to a rogue operation. 11 people were later charged for murder but their names were not released.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman still has not admitted any involvement in the killing.