An exiled Saudi Arabian journalist was mysteriously kidnapped from a Saudi Consulate in Turkey’s Istanbul- and as the clues start coming together, witness accounts and leaked identities of Saudi military personnel paint a dark picture.
Journalist Jamal Kashoggi vanished after several members of a Saudi Arabian special operations team entered the building in plain clothes, with one anonymous witness claiming they heard screaming.
“I have learned earlier that, among the evidence with the investigation is testimony from inside the consulate at the time that Jamal [Khashoggi] was there, which includes hearing sounds of loud screams and shouting, as well as calls for help and the sound of a struggle and then sudden silence,” Al-Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal reported.
Upon further investigation, it was revealed that Kashoggi never left the embassy after the Saudi agents entered, and that several messages were sent to his phone but never read.
According to the Daily Mail, the alleged 15-man special operations hit team reportedly included a Saudi special forces officer, members of the royal guard and a senior forensics expert. Several have been identified, including Maher Mutreb, an alleged Colonel in Saudi intelligence.
The Turkish government is looking into the claims, seemingly echoing local belief that Kashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered from within the consulate. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has since demanded that the Saudi government release the CCTV footage to back up claims that the journalist had left the consulate in one piece.
“It’s not possible for us [Turkey] to stay silent regarding an incident like this,” Erdogan said. “Is it possible there were no camera systems in a consulate, in an embassy? Is it possible that there was no Saudi camera system where this incident took place? If a bird flew, or a fly or a mosquito appeared, the systems would capture this; they (Saudi Arabia) have the most cutting-edge systems.”
Despite criticism, the Saudi government insists Kashoggi left the building and disappeared on his own accord.
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