Trump chooses Arab authoritarianism over Jamal Khashoggi

By Ishaan Tharoor

The mystery surrounding Jamal Khashoggi has turned even more dark. The Saudi journalist vanished Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Within days, leaks from Turkish officials suggested Khashoggi had been killed by Saudi agents flown in to take out the writer. The Saudis have denied the accusation, saying Khashoggi left the consulate on his own — but have provided no evidence to back up their claim.

On Wednesday night, my colleagues reported that none other than Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi, a prominent writer and Washington Post contributor, from his de facto exile in Virginia and detain him, according to U.S. intelligence intercepts.

“The intelligence pointing to a plan to detain Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia has fueled speculation by officials and analysts in multiple countries that what transpired at the consulate was a backup plan to capture Khashoggi that may have gone wrong,” wrote Post national security reporter Shane Harris.

On Thursday, my colleagues reported that Turkish officials told their U.S. counterparts that they had audio and video evidence apparently confirming their conclusion that Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate.

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