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Jamal Khashoggi is dead, Saudi officials confirm

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Jamal Khashoggi
Jamal
Khashoggi is featured on a poster during a protest organized by
members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance
to Saudi Arabia’s consulate on October 8, 2018 in Istanbul,
Turkey.

Chris McGrath/Getty
Images


Saudi Arabia’s state media has confirmed the death of Washington
Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday.

Around 18 suspects have been detained by the Saudis and a top
general was dismissed, according to Saudi media reports cited by
CNN.

A close aide to the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman was
also reportedly dismissed
.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national who was also a legal US resident with
a green card, had been living in Virginia. He was last seen
walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October
2.

Saudi Arabia previously denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s
disappearance and claimed he left the consulate on the same
afternoon of his visit.

Since his disappearance, Turkish authorities have alleged that
Khashoggi was brutally murdered. Turkish officials
previously claimed to have acquired an audio recording with
evidence of Khashoggi’s death. US and Saudi Arabia were also
privy to details of the recording, which reportedly
indicated Khashoggi was drugged, beaten, and
dismembered,  according to officials cited in media reports.

Khashhoggi’s disappearance created a flurry of criticism against
Saudi Arabia and the crown prince, who was seen by some as a
populist reformer. Khashoggi, who resided in Virginia, was an
outspoken critic of his country and the prince,
and reportedly feared for his safety before his
disappearance.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Saudi Arabia this
week and said he had “candid conversations” with the Saudi
leadership. According to Pompeo, the Saudis “strongly denied”
having prior knowledge of whatever took place in the consulate
and pledged to conduct a “thorough, transparent, and timely
investigation.”


President Donald Trump acknowledged
 on Thursday that
based on US intelligence, Khashoggi was likely dead.

“Unless the miracle of all miracles happens, I would acknowledge
that he’s dead,” Trump said to The New York Times. “That’s based
on everything — intelligence coming from every side.”

Trump, who has been under scrutiny for his financial ties to the
kingdom, said there would be “very severe” consequences if
Saudi Arabia was discovered to be responsible.

“I think we’ll be making a statement, a very strong statement,”
Trump said. “But we’re waiting for the results of about — there
are three different investigations, and we should be able to get
to the bottom fairly soon.”

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