Journalist Jamal Khashoggi died after a fight that took place in the Saudi consulate in Turkey, Saudi state media reported on Friday afternoon.
They announced the arrests of eighteen individuals in connection with Khashoggi’s death, many of whom were the same people caught on camera entering the consulate. Saudi officials also denied the reports that Khashoggi was dismembered, instead blaming his death on a fight that broke out in the consulate.
“So we know that General Ahmad al-Assiri has been relieved of his duties. He is the man that CNN has been reporting without naming him was the one to oversee this operation, but it is another official who is possibly even more interesting. His name is al-Qahtani. He is incredibly senior within Saudi Arabia’s power structure,” Clarissa Ward said.
“We are actually hearing from one extremely-well-placed source, Wolf [Blitzer], that Qahtani himself even called Jamal Khashoggi to warn him/threaten him about keeping — criticizing of the king,” she added. (RELATED: Marco Rubio Says America’s Reputation On ‘Human Rights’ Should Trump Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia)
“This is a man who was very well-known to be a rather unsavory character, but what is specifically significant about him being detained, Wolf, is how close he is to the crown prince,” Ward stated. “Is this an attempt to shield the crown prince by saying someone this powerful could, indeed, have managed and held responsibility for all of this and organized the coverup job, or does it in fact even become more damning to the crown prince?” (RELATED: Rand Paul Calls On Congress To Halt Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia Over Jamal Khashoggi Disappearance)
“They have said that when Jamal Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate that he was taken, there was some kind of a quarrel, and what they are calling a physical altercation or a fistfight. Somehow, Wolf, that ended up with Jamal Khashoggi dead,” she continued. “We don’t yet know what happened to him. We don’t yet know where his body is.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to discuss the matter with Saudi leaders. He had previously asked the Trump administration to give the Saudis more time to proceed with their investigation.
He was last seen entering the consulate in Istanbul on October 2. He was a columnist for the Washington Post and they published his final piece on Wednesday.
The White House issued a statement on the confirmation of Khashoggi’s death on Friday saying:
“The United States acknowledges the announcement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that its investigation into the fate of Jamal Khashoggi is progressing and that it has taken action against the suspects it has identified thus far. We will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process. We are saddened to hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends.”
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