Washington, United States:
Four members of the Saudi hit squad that killed US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 had obtained paramilitary coaching within the United States that had been authorized by the State Department, the New York Times reported late Tuesday.
Khashoggi, a Saudi-born US resident who wrote for the Washington Post, was an outspoken critic of the Saudi management, with which he had as soon as been shut. He was murdered on October 2, 2018 within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a workforce of brokers despatched from Saudi Arabia.
Four of these operatives, the New York Times mentioned, had obtained coaching from a non-public American safety group, Tier 1 Group, a transfer first approved by the administration of former president Barack Obama in 2014.
That coaching continued no less than till the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, the newspaper mentioned.
It cited a doc supplied to the Trump administration by a prime official from the mum or dad firm of Tier 1 Group, the personal fairness agency Cerberus Capital Management, who had utilized for a senior publish on the Pentagon.
In his written testimony, Louis Bremer confirmed that Tier 1 Group did present coaching to the Saudi brokers, however insisted that the coaching was “protective in nature” and “unrelated to their subsequent heinous acts.”
Bremer mentioned that the 4 members of the kill workforce obtained the coaching in 2017, and that two of them had already participated in a earlier course from October 2014 to January 2015.
The US State Department, contacted by AFP, mentioned it couldn’t touch upon this data however referred to as for the “responsible use…of American military equipment and training”.
According to a US report launched in February, seven members of an elite unit tasked with defending Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have been a part of the hit squad that killed Khashoggi.
The New York Times didn’t specify whether or not the 4 operatives educated within the United States belonged to this unit.
The physique of the dissident journalist, dismembered on the spot, has by no means been discovered. After denying the assassination, Riyadh claimed the homicide had been carried by Saudi brokers who acted alone.
After an opaque trial in Saudi Arabia, 5 Saudis have been sentenced to demise and three sentenced to jail phrases. The demise sentences have since been commuted.
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