As the case of Jamal Khashoggi gets murkier, gory and spine-chilling details have been trickling in. The Saudi Arabian journalist went missing during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, and it is now being said that the 60-year-old was tortured, beheaded and cut into pieces by men, who were at the consulate for the purpose.
After a lot of search and speculations, Turkish officials said that a 15-member team was sent "from Saudi Arabia." The officials added that Khashoggi's was "a pre-planned murder." While the officials spoke on the condition of anonymity and provided no evidence of the murder or how they came to this conclusion, the revelation seems to be true.
Saudi Arabia has denied any knowledge of Khashoggi's interception and interrogation at the consulate, but about 12 of the 15 men appear to have ties with Saudi security services as per their social media profiles and emails, which were analysed by the Washington Post.
While one of them is suspected to have travelled with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia during his visits to France, Spain and the United States this year, a caller ID app reportedly identifies two others as employees in the office of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Post has identified 12 of the 15 men through the app and even tried to contact them on the numbers, but could not get in touch with them. Only one suspect, Mohammed Saad H. Alzahrani, is said to have answered his phone but said he wasn't in Istanbul at the time of Khashoggi's disappearance.
Sabah, a Turkish newspaper said to have links with the administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has also revealed names and images of the men collected from hotel and airport CCTV footages.
Who Are The 15 Men Said To Be A Part Of The "15-Member Team?"
- Maher Abdulaziz M. Mutreb – The 47-year-old reportedly accompanied the crown prince on visits this year to France, Spain and the United States and even received security training.
- Salah Muhammed A. Tubaigy – His social media account describes him as chief of forensic evidence in the security division of the Saudi interior ministry. The Middle East Eye said that Tubaigy started cutting Khashoggi's body while he was still alive. During the murder, he is also said to have put on headphones and listened to music and asked the men to do the same.
- Meshal Saad M. Albostani – In a Facebook page, a man, who looks similar to Albostani, has described himself as a lieutenant in the Saudi air force, reported the Post. The Facebook page, however, has now been deleted.
- Naif Hassan S. Alarifi – Another deleted Facebook page of a person of the same name reportedly featured images of himself in uniform, which had symbols of the Saudi special forces.
- Mohammed Saad H. Alzahrani – The caller ID app showed that Alzahrani had been listed as a member of the Royal Guard. However, he said he wasn't in Turkey at the time of Khashoggi's disappearance.
- Mansour Othman M. Abahussain – The same app identifies Abahussain as an employee of the intelligence. In addition, a 2014 article in Arabic describes a man with the same name as a lieutenant colonel in the Saudi civil defence force.
- Abdulaziz Mohammed M. Alhawsawi – The same app identifies him as a Royal Guard member.
- Khalid Aedh G. Alotaibi – As per the analysis by the Post, a passport belonging to a man with the same name showed that he had travelled to the US thrice -- the same times as the royal family. He is also said to be a member of the Royal Guard.
- Waleed Abdullah M. Alsehri – A Saudi news report from 2017 had said that a person with the same name had been promoted to the post of a major in the Saudi air force by the crown prince.
- Fahad Shabib A. Albalawi – The app lists Albalawi as a Royal Guard member.
- Thaar Ghaleb T. Alharbi – A Saudi report from 2017 said that a man with the same name was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Saudi army.
- Mustafa Mohammed M. Almadani – While four users of the app have listed him as an employee of the intel, one describes him as working in the headquarters of Saudi Arabia's primary intelligence agency.
- Saif Saad Q. Alqahtani – While seven users have listed Alqahtani as working in the service of the crown prince, two people have listed him as an employee of the palace.
- Turki Muserref M. Alsehri – There is no information available
- Badr Lafi M. Alotaibi – No information