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Jamal Khashoggi Case: Suspects identified by Turkey are linked to Saudi security services



Twice before, this traveler had made other trips to the United States, coinciding with visits by senior members of the Saudi royal family, including King Salman and another of his sons.

The same traveler, Khalid Aedh Alotaibi, has now appeared on a list of 15 Saudis Turkish officials allegedly involved in the disappearance and alleged murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate on Tuesday, October 2. The Turkish authorities provided Pass scans for seven members of a so-called "hit troupe", and this information helped Alotaibi's travels to Washington.

Alotaibi is one of 11 Saudis who are on the list and have links to the Saudi security forces on their posts on social media, emails, local media reports and other materials reviewed by the Washington Post Post Comment Two weeks after that The disappearance of Khashoggi, a contributor The Washington Post's "Global Opinions" section and Saudi government critics increasingly criticize the 15 men identified by Turkey as members of the Saudi team. Turkey published the list as a way to demonstrate Saudi participation in the killing.

According to the Turkish authorities and flight information, the 15 men arrived in Istanbul on 2 October – most of them early in the morning – and then left in Istanbul for the hours following the disappearance of Khashoggi


Tuesday in front of the home of the Saudi Consul General, awaiting investigators arriving in the midst of a growing international backlash on the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Chris Mcgrath / Getty Images)

Saudi officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and said they have no information about his whereabouts. They say he left the consulate shortly after his arrival to receive a document he needs for an upcoming wedding.

Saudi Arabia made no official statement about the men or said why they could have been in Istanbul on October 2 on the Saudi news channel al-Arabiya said the 15 "tourists" who were falsely accused.

US officials now expect the Saudi government to take responsibility for the death of Khashoggi in a statement protecting the powerful Crown Prince from guilt, a diplomat who is familiar with the situation said. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the delicate matter.

With President Trump proposing that Khashoggi could have died by "rogue murderer", attention has increasingly focused on the identity of the men on the list and their reported links with the Saudi government, security services and the Crown Prince himself.

Alotaibi and eight others identified as suspects by Turkish officials appear to have profiles on MenoM3ay – a popular Arabic phone directory app – identifying themselves as members of the Saudi security forces, some of whom claim to be members of the Royal Guard to be.

In one case, Alotaibi identified himself with a symbol for the Royal Guard. In another case, someone else rescued him in contact with the same symbol for the security forces charged with protecting the royal family.

Repeated attempts to contact Alotaibi via the phone number listed in the app were unsuccessful.

Five of the eight others are repeatedly identified in the app as officers in the royal guard or employees of the royal palace.

Two of the Saudis on the list, Naif Hassan S. Alarifi and Saif Saad Q. Alqahtani, are repeatedly identified in the app as even closer to the royal family – especially as collaborators of the "Crown Prince's Office".

The Post could not independently confirm that one of the two men works for the Crown Prince. Phone calls to the numbers in the app for several days were not answered or showed that the phones were off. The Saudi embassy in Washington has not responded to repeated requests for comments on the 15 men since last week.

Four men with the same names, however, identify themselves in Facebook and other social media or are quoted in Saudi news articles as members of the country's security forces

Another suspect who appears to identify himself in the app as a member of the Saudi security forces , is Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb. A decade ago, according to a British list of diplomats, Mutreb was listed as the first secretary of the Saudi embassy in London.

Mutreb's name also appears in hacked e-mails published by WikiLeaks three years ago. In an e-mail to officials from an Italian security company in 2011, a Saudi official identified Mutreb as a embassy employee who would receive advanced security training.

The New York Times reported late Tuesday that Mutreb had been frequently accompanied and photographed near Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on business trips to Madrid, Paris, Houston, Boston and the United Nations

The article reported that it had found evidence that at least nine of the 15 Saudis on the list provided by Turkey were working for the Saudi military, security services or other government branches.

Another man identified by Turkish officials is Muhammad Saad Alzahrani, who is also identified in the app as a member of the Royal Guard. A video of a man wearing black safety clothing of the same name was posted on YouTube last year and guarded the Crown Prince as he greeted the visitors.

The guard in the video closely resembles the image of Zahrani in a passport photo on Tuesday

Zahrani, who arrived on Tuesday by phone on a number listed in MenoM3ay, denied being in Turkey and declined to say whether he works for the Crown Prince that the post office has been provided with a copy of what was allegedly his passport from Turkish officials, which includes patriarchal name, Zahrani asked if a reporter knew his mother's name. The reporter said that was not the case, and Zahrani hung up.

One of the most prominent names on the Saudi team list is Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy, a forensic expert on fast and mobile autopsies who flew to Istanbul shortly after Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate and flew off nine hours later, Turkish officials say ,

Tubaigy, 47, is a senior professor in the crime department of Naif Arab University for safety sciences. He directs master's thesis classes on the identification of bone by DNA analysis and how the use of formaldehyde limits genetic tissue analysis.

But Tubaigy is also close to Saudi security operations, teaching and giving expert opinions on evidence and investigation. In 2014, he persuaded Saudi officials to help him plan and buy an autopsy lab of $ 2.5 million. [19659053] In a interview with Asharq al-Awsat, a London Arab News Agency, he propagated the truck as one of the first of its kind in the world. The mobile autopsy operation, he said, could provide a preliminary analysis of some diseases in seven minutes and "provide dissecting services to security agencies in record time."

Tubaigy has not responded to e-mails and phone messages associated with the profile he set up in an Arabic subscription app.

Cunningham reported from Istanbul. Julie Tate and John Hudson in Washington as well as Souad Mekhennet and Kareem Fahim in Istanbul contributed to this report.


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