Are Saudi’s and Turkey’s ‘inside agents,’ the downing of the Russian jet, and the Khashoggi case a plan to open new fronts in the region?

It is a multidimensional dark incident ranging from the U.S. to Europe, from Saudi’s internal power structure to the disintegration between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, from the redesign of the region to Saudi-Iran war scenarios, from the rapport between Qatar and Turkey, from the front planned to be opened in the Persian Gulf after the Syrian war to the U.S.-Israel-Egypt-Saudi Arabia-UAE axis.


|İbrahim Karagül|AIWA! NO!|None of Turkey’s issues are local. No issue, from the economy to security, from its internal power structure to regional and global developments, is a matter that starts and ends with Turkey. Those who get stuck up on certain developments and pursue revenge, those who are trying make personal gains through such incidents definitely have ulterior motives.

Everything from the pastor Andrew Brunson case to the Jamal Khashoggi issue, from the dollar attack to Manbij and the east of the Euphrates, from the multidimensional disputes between Turkey and the U.S. to the July 16, 2016 attack, from the tensions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to those on the inside of the country who are trying to create areas of opposition and intervention through these developments, are multidimensional, multifaceted, multi-equational and certainly not limited entirely to Turkey’s “weaknesses.”

Image result for MBS KHASHOGGI
James Mattis and MbS at the Pentagon in March. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Nobody should dare pursue the opportunity for ‘internal intervention’ in these incidents

A world in which no enmity or friendship is permanent is taking shape. A world in which no problem is local is shaping. Hence, nobody should speak conventionally. Every generalization will shortly contradict itself. There is no great country, great power left in the world. Every power can render bigger powers immobile, lock and detune it when it acts effectively.

While these realities are apparent, nobody should attempt “inside operations” and pursue political plans through cheap discourse, confuse the Turkish public’s mind and try to make them a target for new multinational interventions.

Khashoggi incident is not just a murder or abduction

The case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is one of these multinational packages. It is in no way limited to just a murder, abduction or disabling an oppositional figure. It is in no way limited to Turkey and Saudi Arabia. It is in no way limited to the madness of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or the personal plans of United Arab Emirates (UAE) Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

It is a multidimensional dark incident ranging from the U.S. to Europe, from Saudi’s internal power structure to the disintegration between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, from the redesign of the region to Saudi-Iran war scenarios, from the rapport between Qatar and Turkey, from the front planned to be opened in the Persian Gulf after the Syrian war to the U.S.-Israel-Egypt-Saudi Arabia-UAE axis.

What will happen if the Khashoggi incident and the ‘dark scenarios’ behind it are not elucidated?

Thus, the Khashoggi murder must be elucidated at once. But the dark plans behind the incident must also be explained. What will happen if they are not explained? Preparations for a new intervention in Turkey will remain unexplained. Plans aimed at detaching Turkey and the Arab world will not be explained. The plans in the north of Syria, the nature of the Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi coup in Egypt will not have been explained. The kind of multinational project being planned after Syria, and how this project will spread shake the entire region will remain unforeseen.

Ankara and Riyadh should close Washington’s door to intervention

Turkey and Saudi Arabia must close all doors of the Khashoggi case calling on to international intervention and that aim to provoke both countries. The U.S.’s intervention in the case, sending its secretary of state, its “or we will punish you” discourse, the role of the Egyptian intelligence and the UAE in the incident are concerning and offer clues to the multinational intervention.

Every Western intervention is causing disputes, tensions, conflicts between countries of the region, and leading very grave regional problems. This has always been the case to date. No problem involving them could be solved; it remained in the dark and they applied other scenarios through this. Because they are the ones who largely set that game.

Turkey’s and Saudi Arabia’s ‘inside agents’ and the Russian jet issue

The countries of the region must particularly pay attention to their own internal structures, to those who take action in the multinational intervention front that is in question, and “inside agents.” Nowadays, this matter has become a greater urgency. A psychological operation, similar to the operation targeting public opinion that was started in Turkey as the Syria war was starting should not be allowed. Because we are direct witnesses of those multinational scenarios since the Gezi Park events, we know how they are done and this is why we should be in a state of alarm.

When we look at it in terms of Saudi Arabia, we see how the joint will of certain powerful circles with the U.S. and Israel is bringing disintegrations to both Saudi Arabia and the region, and how it is opening new areas of intervention. We also know how these circles especially work the “Fight Iran, be enemies with Turkey” theory, but that the scenario is actually directly aimed at destroying Saudi Arabia itself.

We saw that while the downing of the Russian jet was being promoted in Turkey as a “patriotic” act of defense, it was a scenario aimed at pitting Turkey and Russia against each other and finishing the job in Syria, to lead to the July 15 coup attempt, and leave Turkey isolated and defenseless.

The plan to pit Turkey and the Arab world against each other

A plan aimed at pitting Turkey and the Arab world against each other is being implemented. They are selling the “Ottoman fear” to work the “anti-Turkey sentiment” theory on Arab streets. This plan is a major destruction project aimed at our region.

New type Arab leader profiles are formed like Zayed and Salman, inciting them for this project. There is a desire to build a new wave of Arab nationalism and drag the Arab world into a war against Turkey and Iran.

These leaders have been pushed against Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in every area on the field. They are openly supporting shocking scenarios, including terrorism and coups. But Turkey has seen that this is a big Western plan. It grasped that this is part of the Western invasion targeting both Turkey and the entire region. Thus, it is acting extremely carefully and is waiting for the Arab world to see it too.

Wake up, we are all in the same boat!

The invasion of Iraq, the Syrian war, Daesh, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) project, July 15 and this new “Arab wave” are a part of the big scenario, the map operation that is aimed at our region a century later. The fronts from a century ago are being established. Yet, contrary to popular belief, we are all in the same boat.

This project swallowed Iraq and Syria. Now it is targeting Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. If their conflict and confrontation plans between these three big countries succeed, the entire region will collapse. The map operation in the east of the Euphrates is part of this. A buffer zone, a wall is being built between Turkey and the Arab world. Saudi Arabia and Turkey must work together to negate this.

The Arab-Iran war must be prevented, the ‘Muslim civil war’ plan must be negated

However, there are those in both the Arab world and inside Turkey that have hidden agendas within this context. All overt and covert operations are known. It is associated with the new opposition and intervention operation in Turkey and the anti-Turkey Arab wave.

They were both planned and are being implemented as the sub-elements of the Western invasion, and the new region plans. There is no enmity among the people here. Certain groups are preparing the psychological infrastructure of pitting us against one another and setting up new games.

Walls should not be allowed to be built between Ankara, Riyadh and Tehran. This is not our fight but theirs. Let us not destroy our country for the war of others. Let us not fall into the traps of a century ago again.

They are making preparations for a ‘Muslim civil war.’ Very soon they are going to submerge the Persian Gulf in war for this purpose. They are going to implant the war in the heart of Islam. Right at this time, they want to render Turkey immobile.

The Russian jet and preparations before the Syria war are very important

Personally, I do not believe in any stance superior to that of Turkey and its regional struggle. For the last few years I have been watching the “inside operations” along the Saudi Arabia-Iran-Turkey axis. I tried to tell everyone, but was unsuccessful. They are being implemented through Mohammed bin Zayed, and the Riyadh administration was entrapped.

I ask myself whether there could be a new Russian jet scenario. This matter is critical. I remember the scenario at the start of the Syria war, which was played out on the field and took many hostages. In one of them, Turkey and Russia were going to be made to clash. In the other, Syria was destroyed. What we need to find out is who set up the game and how they are playing it

SAUDI ARABIA – Will Crown Prince bin Salman Survive Khashoggi’s Assassination?

The execution of Khashoggi on foreign soil reveals Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman’s disrespect for diplomatic rules and international laws. He can tide over the assassination if he is willing to pay a heavy price to aid Trump’s America and Erdogan’s Turkey.

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Acclaimed Saudi dissident and regime critic Jamal Khashoggi disappeared from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Turkish officials have suspected his disappearance as premeditated murder. More recent developments clearly indicate he was killed inside the consulate by a 15-member Saudi hit squad, allegedly on orders by the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Khashoggi’s killing has shocked the world, yet it was no surprise for people familiar with the Saudi medieval type religious kingdom. Saudi Arabia is known for its worrying intolerance for dissent, human rights, and democratic values.

The degree of intolerance discernibly increased after Mohammed bin Salman, King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz’s favorite son, rose to the position of crown prince in June last year by forcing his cousin and previous Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef to make way for him.

Bin Salman, a young but highly ambitious crown prince, is, in fact, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. He holds a number of other powerful portfolios, including first deputy prime minister and Defense Minister. He is the chief architect of Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen, a highly vocal anti-Iran Saudi leader, and a close associate of U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

In just a year after he had assumed the office of crown prince, bin Salman launched a massive crackdown on corruption, allegedly to punish his critics, and detained dozens of royals, former ministers, and business leaders. Many of them are still languishing in jails.

The Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul was arrested from Abu Dhabi and whisked back to the kingdom in March this year. Outspoken critics of Saudi leadership, including royal family dissidents who were living in Europe, were kidnapped and tortured in the past. Prominent Saudi religious leaders who oppose royal family rule are also routinely rounded up and punished.

Khashoggi’s Murder

Khashoggi’s killing is an appalling case for a variety of reasons. This is a chilling message to all Saudi dissidents living in or outside the kingdom. Bin Salman will not tolerate anyone who dares to criticize him. The Saudi domestic opposition, known as al Sahwa, possibly senses a very bleak future and may be coerced into maintaining a low profile.

Protestors hold pictures of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate on October 8, 2018 in Istanbul
Protestors hold pictures of Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul six days after his disappearance. Photo: Ozan Kose, AFP

Foreign nationals critical of Saudi leadership may not be exempts either. Last year, two journalists from Turkish state broadcaster TRT World, who accompanied Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on a visit to the kingdom in the wake of the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar, were detained but freed only after Cavusoglu had directly raised the issue with King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz.

More alarmingly, Khashoggi’s murder exposes an ugly face of Mohammed bin Salman. The execution of a hit plan on foreign soil reveals his disrespect for diplomatic rules and international laws. This is a cool-headed murder, and the whole world is stunted! If Khashoggi were not a noted critic of bin Salman and well connected to a wide network of journalists, media moguls, and diplomats, his murder would not have made such a big issue around the globe.

Royal Family’s History of Force

The Saudi royal family’s love affair with killings, kidnappings, and brutal suppression of dissents speaks a lot about the way they captured power in the Arabian Peninsula and their ideological convictions. King Abd al-Azizfounded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 based on the sheer use of force – first, by defeating and killing his tribal rivals in the central Saudi province of Najd, then by permanently subduing the oil-rich Shia-dominated Eastern Province in 1913, and finally by conquering the Hijaz Province in 1926.


Saudi Arabia Faces Business Backlash Over Khashoggi…

The Saudi royals believe that they established their kingdom by sword and the kingdom is their family fiefdom to defend based on the sword. That means they suffer from a pervasive fear that they cannot survive without suppressing their domestic and external opponents, either single-handedly or in collaboration with foreign countries.

And the royal family’s ideological arm, what is called Wahhabism, is horrendously misused to clear of dissents and opposition. There is a historical lineage. Religious preacher Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s texts and teachings directly relate to the 10th-century Sunni theological school of Ash’arism, the dominant Sunni school of thought known for its anti-science, anti-rational and anti-philosophical reasoning posture.

Historically, many Muslim rulers in the Middle East have used the anti-free thinking logic of Ash’arism to close the door to independent political ideas and reasoning as a serious source of challenge to their rule, what clearly meant the rulers could not be criticized at all, let alone be challenged. The Saudi Wahhabi religious establishment, an off-shoot of Ash’arism, often issues fatwas in support of suppression of dissents by the Saudi rulers.

What Awaits bin Salman Now?

The Khashoggi episode is likely to haunt the Saudi rulers for quite some time. The kingdom has got itself caught in a tainted image, in the face of international uproar and concerns. The image Saudi Arabia has created for it is the image of a killer state. Can Mohammed bin Salman smooth over this horrible incident?

Much depends on how he manages his relationship with President Trump and regional rival Turkey. The U.S. president has reacted to Khashoggi’s murder as a “bad situation.” More sharp reactions came from influential U.S. Senators who threatened sanctions at the “highest level” of Saudi leadership and halt arms sales to the kingdom. If the Senators succeed in pressuring Trump to take the Khashoggi case to the UN Security Councilto impose a travel ban on bin Salman or sanctions on Saudi Arabia, that will effectively end his ambition to ascend the throne after King Salman’s death. But this is unlikely to happen for at least two reasons.

President Trump is reluctant to cut economic ties with Saudi Arabia, to stop Saudi investments in the U.S. economy. Rather, he is eager to see that the much-publicized arms deals, worth $110 billion, go through at an accelerated pace. Bin Salman did not seriously commit to the arms deals so far. Khashoggi’s murder has, by default, created a unique opportunity for Trump to pressure bin Salman to buy weapons quickly or face the consequences. Trump is also likely to force bin Salman to further drum up anti-Iran propaganda and take concrete actions against Iran.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stands to gain a lot too. He increased pressure on Saudi rulers by saying Ankara “cannot remain silent to such an incident,” but later agreed to launch a joint Saudi-Turkish committee to probe Khashoggi’s disappearance. Human rights group Amnesty International has cast doubt on the committee’s neutrality to issue a genuine report on the investigation.



Fears of “abysmal new low” for Saudi Arabia amid allegations journalist Jamal Khashoggi assassinated in Istanbul Consulate 

Bin Salman is likely to use the joint committee as a vehicle to delay reporting or buy Turkey’s support through secret negotiations to bury the Khashoggi episode.

President Erdogan is likely to exploit it as a big opportunity to get bin Salman to commit billions of dollars fresh investments in the Turkish economy, giving him some wiggle room to get around recent U.S. sanctions – the attack on Turkish lira. Another side of the bargain may include a negotiated end to the Saudi-led blockade on Turkey’s steadfast Gulf ally Qatar.

Mohammed bin Salman is likely to tide over Khashoggi’s assassination if he is willing to pay a heavy price to aid Trump’s America and Erdogan’s Turkey. That will at least save him from losing the throne.

If developments take a different course to justice, there will be a huge relief that even powerful autocrats cannot cross the red lines.

Saudi prince denies Saudi Washington Post journalist murder allegations as Turkish report claims writer sent audio recording of his final moments via an Apple Watch

saudi journo

  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz has condemned stories about the Saudi Arabian government regarding a missing Washington Post journalist
  • The Minister of Interior said the claims are ‘lies and baseless allegations against the government of the Kingdom’
  • Middle Eastern royal added that they are working together with their ‘brothers’ in Turkey to find out what happened to Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi 
  • Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, went missing October 2 after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey
  • Turkish government reportedly told US officials it has audio proof that he was killed and dismembered at the consulate in Istanbul 

|Mailonline|AIWA!no!AIWA!no!|Saudi Arabia is keen to find out the whole truth about what happened to Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi according to a statement from the country’s Minister of Interior.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz holds the position and spoke on behalf of his kingdom in a statement released late Friday night.

After the country had already labelled accusations the 59-year-old man was tortured, killed then dismembered October 2 for criticizing his homeland as ‘baseless’, Abdulaziz affirmed the idea through the Saudi Press Agency.

Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz denied Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 2
Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz denied Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 2
The country labeled accusations the 59-year-old man was tortured, killed then dismembered for speaking out as 'lies and baseless allegations against the government of the Kingdom'
The country labeled accusations the 59-year-old man was tortured, killed then dismembered for speaking out as ‘lies and baseless allegations against the government of the Kingdom’

The statement mentioned the ‘condemnation and denunciation of the false accusations circulated in some media on the Saudi government and people.

Abdulaziz specifically addressed claims that officials had been told to kill Khashoggi, who hasn’t been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

‘He also stressed that what has been circulating about orders to kill him are lies and baseless allegations against the government of the Kingdom, which is committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with international laws and conventions,’ the statement went on.

The Minister of Interior also told the world that the country was keen to team up with the Turkish authorities to get to the bottom of what has happened to Khashoggi.

‘He praised the cooperation with the brothers in Turkey through the Joint Investigation Commission and other official channels, stressing the importance of the role of the media in the transfer of facts and not to affect the paths of investigation and judicial proceedings,’ the message sent out to media read. ‘He also stressed the Kingdom’s keenness on the interest of its citizens at home and abroad and its keenness in particular to clarify the whole truth about the disappearance of the citizen Jamal Khashoggi.’

Protests took place outside the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington DC but KSA mentioned the 'condemnation and denunciation of the false accusations circulated in some media'
Protests took place outside the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington DC but KSA mentioned the ‘condemnation and denunciation of the false accusations circulated in some media’
The statement about Khashoggi (pictured) said Saudi Arabia is 'committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with international laws and conventions'
statement about Khashoggi (pictured) said Saudi Arabia is ‘committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with international laws and conventions’
A Turkish newspaper said the authorities had obtained information from Khashoggi's watch
A Turkish newspaper said the authorities had obtained information from Khashoggi’s

The statement came as a report from a Turkish newspaper claimed investigators had obtain evidence about what happened to the journalist after he send recordings from his Apple Watch.

Pro-government publication Sabat reported that the conversation was sent to his iCloud and the phone his fiancée Hatice Cengiz was holding for him outside.

CNN said the newspaper added security guards used his fingerprint to delete some evidence but not was wiped.

However it raises questions as Apple Watch does not use fingerprint technology to unlock the device. While the Apple Watch 3 with Cellular is the only version that can be used without close connectivity with an iPhone, his mobile was with his partner outside.

She had previously said Khashoggi had another cell phone inside the building however.

BBC reported that Khashoggi had told a journalist there that he didn’t think he’d ever be able to go home after hearing stories of people being punished for speaking out.

‘When I hear of an arrest of a friend who did nothing… makes me feel I shouldn’t go,’ Khashoggi said off-air. ‘That friend of mine… maybe he was talking critically over something at a dinner party. That’s what we are becoming in Saudi Arabia, we are not used to that, we never experienced [this].’

Mr Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since last year.

US President Donald Trump has said he will speak to Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (pictured right) about the disappearance of the Saudi writer and US resident

Trump to ask Saudi King about missing journalist

While Donald Trump had been reluctant to risk the country not investing up to $110billion in the United States, on Friday he said the US taking the ‘terrible situation’ seriously.

The president said he will speak to Saudi Arabia‘s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud about the disappearance of Saudi writer and US resident.

The American leader spoke about the situation to reporters in Ohio ahead of his campaign rally and revealed he’ll be getting on the phone to hold a conversation with the Middle Eastern royal.

‘We’re going to find out what happened with respect to the terrible situation in Turkey having to do with Saudi Arabia and the reporter,’ he said. 

Trump, 72, said that the United States was one of many countries ‘looking very hard and fast’ to get to the bottom the story after Khashoggi vanished when he entered the building to get documents for his upcoming wedding, but his wife-to-be never saw him again.

A delegation from Saudi Arabia has now arrived in Turkey as part of an investigation into his disappearance, Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu said.

But US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed he is still ‘planning’ on going to a major investment conference in Saudi Arabia despite man CEOs and journalists pulling out over concern for the Khashoggi story.

Former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia thinks it’s bad news for America’s relationship with the kingdom that the Trumps visited in May 2017.

‘I think this is the worst moment in US/Saudi relations since 9/11,’ Robert Jordan told MSNBC, reports Mediaite.

Jordan added that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 33, feels like he can do whatever he wants and get away with it.


Saudi Arabia´s consulate in Istanbul is under scrutiny after Turkish officials said they had audio recordings to prove what happened to Khashoggi

The Washington Post reported that a 15-man security team (not pictured) at Saudi Arabia´s consulate in Istanbul moved the body out of the building after killing the journalist
The Washington Post reported that a 15-man security team (not pictured) at Saudi Arabia´s consulate in Istanbul moved the body out of the building after killing the journalist

SAUDI ARABIA – The silencing of a Saudi truth teller

Saudi truth teller SILENCED! A red line has been crossed

Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi
Turkish authorities have claimed a prominent Saudi journalist who has not been seen since he entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul five days ago was killed inside the building.
THE DISAPPEARANCEof Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last Tuesday has drawn the attention of the media world. His reported murder at the hands of Saudi government agents at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul threatens to spark an international incident. For those who knew him, the uncertainty surrounding his fate is excruciating and his situation serves as a devastating reminder about the perils of speaking out in the face of oppression.

READ RELATED: Turkey seeks access to search Saudi consulate in Khashoggi case

Khashoggi, 59, left Saudi Arabia in June of 2017, going into self-imposed exile after fearing for his freedom amid crackdowns by the Saudi government. He has contributed to The Washington Postfor the past year, and his editor there, Karen Attiah, told CNN’s Brian Stelter that Khashoggi just wanted to write. She says that it’s important for people who knew him “to speak out about who he is, what his work meant to Saudi Arabia and to the region as a whole, what it meant to us. And I think it’s really important to know that Khashoggi, Jamal, he didn’t want to be known as a dissident. He didn’t want to be this opposition figure.”

Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and suspected death is a grave assault on the freedom of expression worldwide.

In writing about repression in his home country, however, Khashoggi became one of the most prominent Saudi voices on the international stage. His work for the Post highlighted the downsides of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s agenda, and gave lie to the overly credulous reporting on MBS’s image as a reformer. “We never had freedom of the press in Saudi Arabia, it’s true. But also we were never been ordered or told to impose certain ideas, and if you do not say those ideas you will be judged,” Khashoggi told my colleague Jon Allsop earlier this year.

RELATED: Jamal Khashoggi, feared murdered, on press freedom in Saudi Arabia

On Saturday, the Post reported that Turkish investigators believe Khashoggi was killed in “a preplanned murder.” “If the reports of Jamal’s murder are true, it is a monstrous and unfathomable act,” Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor for the Postsaid in a statement.  Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, insisting that he left the consulate shortly after he arrived, but no evidence has been provided to back up this claim. The incident takes place against the backdrop of an international PR campaign by Salman to cast himself as a reformer, and has the potential to complicate US-Saudi relations at a time when President Trump has closely aligned himself with the crown prince.

Khashoggi saw the danger of crackdowns early, writing in his first column for the Post, “I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice. To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison,” Khashoggi wrote in September 2017. “I can speak when so many cannot. I want you to know that Saudi Arabia has not always been as it is now. We Saudis deserve better.”

Saudi Arabia journalist Jamal Khashoggi, 59, ‘murdered and dismembered’ after going to consulate to collect wedding papers

Turkish government sources have said that a former trusted aide of the Saudi royal family, who was shunned by Riyadh after criticizing Saudi policies, was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Jamal Khashoggi, 59, is an American-educated former adviser to Saudi royals. He worked for years as an advisor to Prince Turki al-Faisal, one of Saudi Arabia’s most recognizable public figures who represented the Kingdom as ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom.

Man holding a 'Free Khashoggi' poster

RELATED STORY: What is going on with Saudi Arabia?
|AIWA! NO!|Turkish officials say they have concrete evidence missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, with a friend of the prominent writer saying they think he may have been dismembered.

Key points

  • A friend of Khashoggi says officials told him the journalist was dead
  • Khashoggi was a prominent critic of Prince Mohammed bin Salman
  • The Washington Post said it would be a “monstrous and unfathomable act” if reports are true

A contributor to The Washington Post, Khashoggi has not been seen since Tuesday last week, when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to collect papers for his upcoming wedding.

Saudi officials said he left shortly afterwards but his fiancee, who was waiting outside, said he never came out.

Khashoggi, 59, who was once close to the Saudi royal family and has served as an adviser for senior Saudi officials, left the country last year to live in the US in self-imposed exile, saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy in the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent.

A bearded man with grey hair and a beard dressed in a shirt and suit jacket speaks from a podium

Turan Kislakci, a friend of Khashoggi and the head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, told Associated Press that Turkish officials said the journalist has been brutally murdered.

“What was explained to us is this: ‘He was killed, make your funeral preparations’,” Mr Kislakci said.

“We called a few other places, these are lower officials, but they said: ‘We have evidence he was killed in a barbaric way, we will announce it tomorrow or the day after’.”

Mr Kislakci also alleged, based on conversations with officials he did not name, that Khashoggi was made to “faint”, then was dismembered.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was closely following the case and that officials were examining camera footage and airport records as part of their investigation into the disappearance.

“Entries and exits into the embassy, airport transits and all camera records are being looked at and followed. We want to swiftly get results,” he said, adding without explanation: “My expectation is still positive.”

Photograph taken at twilight, as a man in a suit pulls a large metal barrier marked "Polis" closed.

But two Turkish sources told Reuters they believed Khashoggi was deliberately killed inside the consulate.

Saudi sources deny the accusations as baseless.

Last week, Prince Mohammed bin Salman said there was “nothing to hide”, telling Bloomberg that Turkish authorities were welcome to search the consulate building and investigate.

In a statement, The Post said it would be a “monstrous and unfathomable act” if the reports of the murder are true.

“Jamal was — or, as we hope, is — a committed, courageous journalist,” the director of The Post’s editorial page said.

“He writes out of a sense of love for his country and deep faith in human dignity and freedom.”

Who is Khashoggi?

A graduate of Indiana State University, Khashoggi began his career in the 1980s, covering the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the decade-long war that followed for the English-language daily Saudi Gazette.

He travelled extensively in the Middle East, covering Algeria’s 1990s war against Islamic militants, and the Islamists’ rise in Sudan, even interviewing Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan before al-Qaida was formed.

Khashoggi rubbed shoulders with the Saudi royal family and supported efforts to nudge the kingdom’s entrenched ultra-conservative clerics to accept reforms.

He served as media adviser to Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former spy chief who was at the time the ambassador to the United States.

Throughout his career he has been critical of authorities, frequently defending moderate Islamists and criticising Saudi foreign policy in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt and Syria.

In a September 23 interview with Turkey-based Syrian opposition television station just days before he disappeared, Khashoggi said foreign called Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy “narrow minded”, and ridiculed its crackdown on political Islam.

“This was a critical period in Arab history. I had to take a position. The Arab world had waited for this moment of freedom for a thousand years,” Khashoggi said.

“The only recipe to get Iranians out of Syria — it is not Trump or anyone else — it is through the support of the Syrian revolution … Saudi Arabia must return to supporting the Syrian revolution and partnering with Turkey on this.”

He disappeared just eight days later, with many pointing to his critique of Prince Mohammed and his policy as the reason behind his disappearance and alleged murder.

“As of now, I would say Mohammed bin Salman is acting like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. He is imposing very selective justice,” Khashoggi wrote in The Post last year after he fled the kingdom.


Ethiopia – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Government Failing to Protect People From Ethnic Violence; National Rights Body Says

Ethiopia's newly elected prime minister Abiy Ahmed attends a rally during his visit to Ambo in the Oromiya region, Ethiopia April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
© Reuters Ethiopia’s newly elected prime minister Abiy Ahmed attends a rally during his visit to Ambo in the Oromiya region, Ethiopia April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA|AIWA! NO!|Ethiopia’s government is failing to protect its citizens amid escalating ethnic violence that has displaced nearly a million people in the last six months, the head of a national human rights commission that reports to parliament claimed Thursday.

Among other conflicts along ethnic lines, fighting in the south between the Oromo and Gedeo groups has escalated since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed – the first leader from the Oromo ethnic group in Ethiopia’s modern history – came to office in March.

Last week alone, more than 70,000 people, mostly Oromos – the largest ethnic group in the country, were targeted by members of other groups in the western state of Benishangul-Gumuz, regional officials said.

“In some cases, security officials deliberately avoided stepping in. It is when the government fails in its responsibility to protect its citizens that such rights abuses took place,” Addisu Gebregziabher, head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, told Reuters.

Addisu Gebregziabher (PhD), the commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission

It is the first time Addisu has publicly criticized Abiy’s administration for its handling of the violence.

The independent commission also investigated the conduct of the Ethiopian authorities during the three years of unrest that forced the resignation of the previous prime minister, paving the way for Abiy’s appointment.

“The conflicts we are seeing involve serious human rights abuses,” Addisu told Reuters after a news conference in the southern city of Hawassa, where the ruling coalition is holding a long-delayed congress.

The event is expected to help cement the authority of Abiy, a 42-year-old former army officer who has presided over major political and economic changes in the country in his short time in power.

Some critics say that Abiy has loosened his coalition’s grip on the country and that releasing political prisoners and lifting a ban on opposition groups has led to the surge in ethnic violence as dormant rivalries were allowed to resurface.

Government spokesman Ahmed Shide did not answer phone calls requesting comment on Thursday afternoon, while the ruling coalition’s meeting was continuing.

Though Abiy’s new approach has drawn praise inside Ethiopia and abroad, his rhetoric is beginning to ring hollow in some parts of the country due to the rising violence — and concerns that his government is not acting to stop it.

Referring to the violence, Addisu said: “There is also a lack of accountability. For instance, while some regional officials were apprehended for stoking violence in Gedeo, others are yet to be held accountable.”

He said that in the case of the ethnic violence in Benishangul-Gumuz, regional officials had prevented his commission from carrying out research in some areas.

UN Court Orders U.S. To Lift Iran Sanctions On Humanitarian Aid, Aviation Safety

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered the US to ease sanctions it re-imposed on Iran after pulling out a nuclear deal last year. Siding with Tehran, it said exports of “humanitarian” goods, such as food and medicines, should be allowed.

Judges listen to lawyers for Iran at the International Court of Justice (27 August 2018)
The ICJ is the main judicial organ of the United Nations EPA
|AIWA! NO!|The top UN court has ordered the United States to lift sanctions against Iran |regarding “humanitarian” aid and airplane parts linked to the safety of civil aviation.

President Donald Trump in May reimposed tough sanctions after pulling the United States out of a landmark 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran challenged the measure in a case filed in July at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In an October 3 preliminary ruling in the case, the ICJ said Washington must “remove, by means of its choosing, any impediments arising from the measures announced on May 8 to the free exportation to Iran of medicines and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities” as well as airplane parts.

Sanctions on goods “required for humanitarian needs…may have a serious detrimental impact on the health and lives of individuals on the territory of Iran,” Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said.

U.S. sanctions on aircraft spare parts also had the “potential to endanger civil aviation safety in Iran and the lives of its users,” Yusuf said.

The ICJ rules on disputes between UN member states. Its decisions are binding and cannot be appealed, but it has no mechanism to enforce them.

Washington is expected to challenge the ICJ’s jurisdiction in a future hearing.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa
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