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Operation that led to Khashoggi’s killing was reportedly run via Skype

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Saudi Crown Prince
Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a summit of Arab and Latin
American leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


AP/Hasan
Jamali



  • The operation that led to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s
    death was reportedly coordinated via Skype by one of Crown Prince
    Mohammed bin Salman’s top aides, Reuters reports. 
  • Saud al-Qahtani, 40, reportedly directed the operation
    via Skype, and at one point allegedly said, “Bring me the head
    of the dog.”
  • Qahtani’s close relationship to Prince Mohammed makes it
    harder for the Saudis to distance the crown prince from the
    deadly operation. 

The operation that led to
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death
was reportedly
coordinated via Skype by one of Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman’s top aides,
Reuters reports

Saud al-Qahtani, 40, reportedly hurled insults at Khashoggi
via Skype as the journalist was interrogated, and Khashoggi
defiantly answered him in kind, according to what Arab and
Turkish intelligence sources told Reuters. 

Qahtani at one point told his men to “dispose” of Khashoggi
and allegedly said, “Bring me the head of the dog.”  Some
earlier reports suggested
Khashoggi was beheaded before being dismembered

Qahtani, who has helped oversee a number of operations for
the 33-year-old crown prince, was reportedly among five officials
fired by the Saudi government on Saturday in relation to
Khashoggi’s death. 

He ran the crown prince’s social media, and was reportedly
involved in the controversial kidnapping of the prime minister of
Lebanon. Qahtani’s close relationship to Prince Mohammed will
seemingly make it difficult for the Saudis to distance the crown
prince from the deadly incident, which the Saudi foreign minister
described as a
“rogue operation”
in an interview with Fox News on
Sunday.  

Qahtani’s Twitter bio recently changed from royal adviser
to chairman of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity,
Programming and Drones, which is a position he previously held,
Reuters reports. 

The Saudis are maintaining that the crown prince, who’s
suspected of orchestrating the events to led to Khashoggi’s
death, did not have any prior knowledge of the
operation. 

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in
Istanbul on October 2. Turkish officials subsequently accused
Saudi Arabia of sending in a 15-man hit team to brutally kill the
journalist, who was often critical of the Saudi government in his
reporting. 

For nearly three weeks, the Saudis issued strong denials of
any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance. But on Friday the
Saudi government officially confirmed Khashoggi’s death, and
claimed he died as a result of a fistfight with men in the
consulate. This claim has been met with widespread
skepticism.

The Saudis have also claimed the men involved in
Khashoggi’s death attempted to cover it up, and have arrested 18
people in connection with the incident. 

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