Fearing for journalist Khashoggi's safety, senators trigger disappearance probe

Fearing for journalist Khashoggi's safety, senators trigger disappearance probe

A team of 15 Saudis who flew in from Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, to visit and leave the consulate on the same day of his disappearance is suspected of playing a role, people familiar with the investigation said in a Washington Post report published Tuesday.

Turkish officials believe the critic of the Saudi regime was killed in the consulate, and have published images of an alleged "assassination squad" and movements around the building at the time of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance. The Saudi government, including Prince Mohammad, has denied that allegation, insisting that Khashoggi freely left the Consulate shortly after his arrival.

She also urged Saudi Arabia to release CCTV footage of when her fiance disappeared.

"This is a bad situation", Trump told reporters, adding that he would like to invite Khashoggi's fiancee to the White House. "We do not like seeing what's going on". Frankly, because it's a reporter, you could say in many respects, it brings it to a level.

"We don't know what has happened to him". "We can not let this happen, to reporters, to anybody". President Trump needs to raise this case immediately with Saudi Arabia and Turkey and demand answers.

It was reported on Tuesday that the six cars that left the consulate, several hours after Khashoggi had entered, stopped for several hours at the nearby Saudi consul general's residence, a site that has now become a focal point of the investigation into what happened to him. Among them was a forensics expert, it says.

US intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi before he vanished, according to the Post, which cited two people familiar with the information.

A man holds a poster a rally about the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington on Wednesday.

Lawmakers have been making increasingly strong statements regarding the U.S. -Saudi relationship this week after reports that the kingdom sought to silence one of its most outspoken critics.

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.

News of Saudi Arabia orchestrating the assassination of Khashoggi has put further pressure on its ally the U.S. to take action.

About two hours later Aksam showed two vehicles, one of them a black Mercedes Vito van with tinted windows and diplomatic plates, leaving the consulate and entering the auto park of the residence shortly afterwards.

A Turkish security source had previously told Reuters that the 15 Saudis, including some officials, left the country later the same day. "The Saudi Consulate can not absolve itself of responsibility for this incident by allowing its premises to be searched", said Gulseren Yoleri of the Human Rights Association. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim power, is also annoyed by Ankara's rapprochement with the kingdom's Shiite archrival, Iran.

"The administration is so close to Saudi Arabia", Scarborough told Ignatius.

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