US tells Saudi ‘those involved in Khashoggi death will be accountable’

‘I’m suffocating’: Final words of Jamal Khashoggi revealed as Mike Pompeo tells Saudi Crown Prince the US will hold everyone involved ‘accountable’ after Turkey claims hit was ordered ‘at the highest level’

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to Saudi Crown Prince via phone Sunday
  • He told the royal all involved in killing Jamal Khashoggi will be held accountable
  • Daily Sabah will publish images of tools used to slay Khashoggi and claim to have heard his final utterances in secret audio recordings
  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday recordings had been listened to by United States, German, French and British governments
  • The publication says it took 15 minutes to carry out the grisly killing 
  • Fired Saudi deputy intelligence chief allegedly had $2billion plan to sabotage Iran’s economy and kill Qassim Suleimani 
  • He is said to have met with Trump 2016 presidential campaign team to interfere with Hillary Clinton

A Turkish newspaper reports the last words of Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist killed at his country’s consulate in Istanbul last month, reveal the way he pleaded with his murderers moments before his death.

It came the same day US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman via phone Sunday, telling the man accused of orchestrating the murder everyone involved will be held ‘accountable’. 

The Daily Sabah says they will soon publish images of the tools used by a team of 15 people who are suspected of slaying the Washington Post writer, and claim to have heard his final utterances in secret audio recordings on October 2. 

Dissident Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was murdered at the Istanbul Saudi consulate 

A tough critic of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Khashoggi, disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate (pictured) in Istanbul on October 2 to collect a document 

‘I’m suffocating … Take this bag off my head, I’m claustrophobic,’ Khashoggi said according to the head of investigations for the Turkish newspaper Nazif Karaman. 

Karaman told Al Jazeera in an interview that the hit squad placed plastic bags down to protect the floor before dismembering Khashoggi.

The Turkish newspaper claims it took 15 minutes to carry out the grisly killing and traces of acid were discovered at the Saudi consul general’s home in Istanbul.

It’s believed the body was taken there to be disposed of using chemicals.

The Daily Sabah reports the planning of the murder was led by the head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics, Salah al-Tubaigy.     

Pompeo spoke to Salman regarding the slaying, which emerged two weeks after the part-time US resident first went missing.

With the Middle Eastern royal being accused of planning the attack, the US-Saudi alliance came under immense strain as people called for America to get to the bottom of the story.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman by telephone Sunday

Pompeo told Prince Mohammed bin Salman that all involved in killing Jamal Khashoggi will be held accountable

Pompeo told Salman that he expects the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to take the necessary reaction to deliver justice to Khashoggi and his family. 

‘Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,’ spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Sunday.

‘The Secretary emphasized that the United States will hold all of those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi accountable, and that Saudi Arabia must do the same.’ 

Pompeo’s phone call came one day after President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke about how to respond to the killing at a dinner with heads of state. 

As leaders gathered in Paris to mark the World War One Armistice centenary, Erdogan said Saturday that audio recordings of the killing had been given to various governments.

The Daily Sabah reports the planning of the murder was led by the head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics, Salah al-Tubaigy (left and right)

‘We gave the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, German, French and British, all of them,’ the Turkish president said. ‘They have listened to all the conversation in them. They know.’

He claimed the operation had been ordered at the ‘highest levels’ of the Saudi government.  

Royal court media adviser Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri were both fired in the aftermath of an investigation into the murder.

But adding to speculation Salman was behind the Khashoggi killing, the New York Times reports the prince sent Assiri to attend a meeting in March 2017 where they allegedly inquired about hiring private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies.  

Citing three people familiar with the discussions, Salman is said to have ordered advisers to ramp up military and intelligence operations abroad.

During the alleged meeting there was supposedly talk of a $2billion plan to sabotage Iran’s economy and kill Qassim Suleimani, the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds force leader.

Lebanese-American businessman George Nader was said to have pitched the plan to White House officials and met with Salman beforehand.

The Saudi Crown Prince (left) allegedly got a team to meet with Donald Trump’s (right) presidential campaign team to help sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign

He was allegedly present at meetings about the plan, accompanied by Israeli Joel Zamel, a man with deep ties to Israel’s intelligence and security agencies.

Both Nader – also an adviser to the Crown Prince Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates, – and Zamel are witnesses in the current Robert Mueller-led inquiry into possible meddling in Trump’s presidential campaign.

The special counsel and his team have questioned them on American-Saudi talks on the Iran sabotage proposal.

It’s not clear how the two are specifically related however it was reported Zamel’s Psy-Group had also pitched the Trump presidential campaign team on a social media sabotage plan in 2016.  

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Saudi was said to be feeling the threat of Hillary Clinton leading the US to mean a continuation of the Iran nuclear deal Barack Obama had signed. 

Lawyers for the company consulted about sabotaging Iran reportedly rejected the plan and suggested another London-based company operated by former British special operations troops.

The Times obtained a 2017 email Nader sent an associate where he wrote the prince – referred to as MBS – advised him to ‘review [possible contracts] and discuss it with General Ahmed’.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about resolving the conflict in Yemen

Nader allegedly told the associate around the time he was gathering with both Salman and Assiri: ‘Had a truly magnificent meeting with MBS.’ 

The Saudi government as well as Nader and Zamel’s lawyers declined to comment to The Times.

Last Wednesday US President Trump said he expects to form a ‘stronger opinion’ by this coming week on Khashoggi’s killing and Washington’s response. He said he was working with Congress, Turkey and KSA to establish who bore responsibility. 

Pompeo and Trump spoke about the importance of keeping close ties with KSA due to the strong commercial, strategic and national security relationships between the countries, when the story first emerged.

However the US has gotten stricter as more details were revealed about the way Khashoggi was killed.

The top US diplomat previously said Khashoggi’s killing ‘violates the norms of international law,’ and that the US was reviewing possible sanctions on an individual basis for those found to be involved.

Khashoggi was a critic of Salman and was killed after a team sent from Riyadh arrived at the consulate hours before him. 

Fire and smoke rise after a Saudi-led airstrike hit a site believed to be one of the largest weapons depots on the outskirts of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa (pictured October 2016)

Saudi authorities have acknowledged that the killing was premeditated, but his body has not been found. 

Khashoggi was also critical of the country’s intervention in Yemen, a conflict which also came up during the call, Nauert added.

The prince has overseen Saudi Arabia’s Yemen war effort, a highly controversial intervention to bolster President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government in the face of an insurgency by Huthi rebels.

Nearly 10,000 people have since been killed and the country now stands at the brink of famine.

‘On Yemen, the secretary reiterated the United States’ calls for a cessation of hostilities and for all parties to come to the table to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict under the UN Special Envoy,’ Nauert said. 

Pompeo has previously called for an end to hostilities in the rebel-infested Arab state, emphasizing the need for the Saudi-led coalition to halt strikes in populated areas.  

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