Saudi crown prince told US Khashoggi was a risky Islamist

Hannah Rogers
November 2, 2018

MbS, Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, said: "The incident that happened is very painful".

Mr Khashoggi was a Saudi reporter in self-exile in Turkey and a prominent critic of the Saudi regime.

The US will need a "handful more weeks" to decide if Saudi Arabia should be somehow sanctioned for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Mike Pompeo has said, noting that Riyadh remains a "great partner" serving US national security.

The Post also reported that bin Salman, in conversations with the White House, has described Khashoggi as "a unsafe Islamist", claiming he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

But increased tension between Tehran and Riyadh has fuelled speculation that shared interests may push Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together against what they regard as a common Iranian threat.

The US-Saudi relationship "is too big to fail", Prince Turki said.

The claim echoed what a Turkish official had earlier told the Washington Post ─ for which Khashoggi was a contributor ─ that authorities are investigating a theory the body was destroyed in acid.

"But Jamal's death is more than a 'complication.' It is vicious, state-sponsored murder of an innocent journalist", he added, calling on the government to suspend arms deals with Riyadh and not resume "business as usual" with the kingdom.

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Israeli officials confirmed the Post's report to the Ynet news site, saying Netanyahu urged officials in Washington not to allow the close relationship with the Saudi crown prince to be undermined by the incident.

Mr Khashoggi's family vehemently denied that he was in any way unsafe or a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Turks added that the Saudi prosecutor also said no statement had been made by Saudi authorities about the existence of the purported local cooperator. "He denied such claims repeatedly over the past several years", the statement said.

"In accordance with plans made in advance, the victim, Jamal Khashoggi, was strangled to death immediately after entering the consulate-general of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on 2 October, 2018 for marriage formalities", chief prosecutor Irfan Fidan said.

"Jamal Khashoggi was not a unsafe person in any way possible".

The New York Times, Reuters and the Financial Times reported that the prince's return had sparked speculation about his role in the kingdom's crisis management efforts following the worldwide outcry over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Istanbul's chief prosecutor, Irfan Fidan, separately called on their Saudi counterparts to identify the collaborator this week.

Khashoggi entered the consulate last month to get a document he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

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