US officials reportedly say Turkey claims to have audio and video footage that show missing Washington Post columnist was brutally killed

jamal khashoggi protester

  • US officials say the Turkish government claimed to possess audio and video recordings that indicate Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed during his visit to the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.
  • Evidence also suggests that Khashoggi, a Saudi national who went into the consulate for official paperwork related to his upcoming wedding, was dismembered after his death, the officials reportedly said.
  • It was unclear if US officials had seen or heard the alleged recordings, but Turkish officials reportedly described its contents to them.
  • Khashoggi, who lived in Virginia under self-imposed exile, was an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia and its leader, the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • The purported recordings may put the US in a precarious position by straining its ties to a country that spends billions in arms sales.

US officials say the Turkish government claimed to possess audio and video recordings that suggest Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed during his visit to the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2, according to a Washington Post report published Thursday.

Officials said the recordings show that a team of Saudis „interrogated, tortured and then murdered“ Khashoggi, according to an anonymous source. Evidence also suggests that Khashoggi, a Saudi national who went into the Consulate for official paperwork related to his upcoming wedding, was dismembered after his death, the officials reportedly said.

The recordings „from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered“ the consulate, a source said, adding that „you can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic.“

Men beating Khashoggi could also be heard from the recording, a source familiar with the intelligence told The Post.

It was unclear if US officials were privy to the potential recordings, but Turkish officials reportedly described its contents to them, The Post reported. Turkish officials, who immediately suggested Khashoggi’s disappearance was orchestrated by the Saudis, were hesitant to release the recordings, citing security concerns.

The existence of such evidence may be the clearest indication yet of foul play. From the onset of his disappearance, Turkish officials claimed Khashoggi entered, but never left the consulate. A team of 15 Saudis that reportedly flew in from Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, to visit and leave the consulate on the same day of his disappearance are suspected of playing a role, people familiar with the investigation said in a previous report from The Post.

jamal khashoggi enter saudi embassy

US intelligence officials reportedly intercepted communications that the Saudis discussed a plan to lure and capture Khashoggi before his disappearance, a person familiar with the situation said in the report. It was unclear whether the US warned him that he was being targeted, according to the source.

But one US official cited in The Post’s recent report disputed the claim and said there was no evidence that the Saudis intended to lure Khashoggi to the consulate.

Khashoggi, who lived in Virginia under self-imposed exile, was an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia and its leader, the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi frequently wrote scathing columns about the leader that contradicted his image as a moderate reformer.

The purported recordings may put the US in a precarious position, likely straining its ties to a country that spends billions on arms equipment. On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators on the Foreign Relations Committee urged Trump to determine and hold responsible those who were responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance.

„We request that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act with respect to any foreign person responsible for such a violation related to Mr. Khashoggi,“ Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Robert Menendez of New Jersey said in a statement.

On Thursday, Trump said the US was looking at the situation „very strongly.“

„We’ll be having a report out soon,“ Trump said. „We’re working with Turkey, we’re working with Saudi Arabia. What happened is a terrible thing, assuming that happened. I mean, maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised, but somehow I tend to doubt it.“

SEE ALSO: ‚They’ve got some explaining to do‘: The case of a missing Washington Post columnist raises more questions after reports suggests he was murdered by Saudi agents

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