The Intelligence agencies of the US intercepted communications between Saudi officials who were missing in Turkey last week to discuss the plan to arrest journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which now disrupts international investigators and threatens to undermine the relationship between Washington and Riyadh.
According to a report released by the Washington Post on Tuesday night – Mr. Kashoggi is a regular contributor – the US spy agency collected some communications indicating a deliberate conspiracy against the journalist. The Washington Post quoted an unnamed the person familiar with intelligence as saying that the intercepted newsletter showed that unidentified Saudi officials wanted to lure Mr. Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and interact with him there.
The report said that it is not clear whether the Saudis intend to arrest and interrogate Mr. Khashoggi or kill him, or whether US officials have warned Mr. Khashoggi as they thought that he was the target. The 59-year-old Mr. Khashoggi disappeared a week before visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a sign that marked a potentially explosive change.
Due to fears that the reporter was killed in the embassy, his disappearance led to an expanding investigation by the Turkish authorities. The Saudi government denied involvement in the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi. The journalist was known as the critics of the increasingly authoritarian kingdom dissident of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The ongoing investigations and the public’s strong protest against the fate of Mr. Khashoggi have caused a recent wave of responses from the Trump administration. Vice President Mike Burns expressed new concerns on the case on Wednesday. He said that the violence against journalists should be condemned. The United States is prepared to send the officials of FBI to help investigate the case.
The Turkish media and the Post published photos and videos of the Saudi “assassination group” that traveled to Turkey last week in Turkey, and also at the Saudi Consulate during Mr. Khashoggi’s visit to the diplomatic post.