Jamal Khashoggi, US-based Saudi journalist, was allegedly tortured and assassinated in the Saudi consulate weeks ago in Istanbul. The Saudi government has waffled significantly in their explanation for the killing. New evidence suggests Khashoggi’s assassins had a body double wear his clothes around Istanbul after killing him.
Body Double Pretends to be Jamal Khashoggi Hours After Killing Him
New footage released this week by CNN indicates that someone wearing Khashoggi’s clothes left the consulate hours after Jamal’s disappearance. The footage is surveillance camera footage from the consulate. Earlier reports from the Saudis held that the surveillance cameras didn’t store any footage, though the existence of these tapes refutes that.
The man seen wearing Khashoggi’s clothes has been identified by Turkish officials as Mustafa al-Madani. Al-Madani has also been identified as one of the 15 assassins sent into the consulate to confront, torture and slay Khashoggi. Footage from the same surveillance camera earlier that day shows al-Madani entering the consulate in a white shirt, without the fake beard or glasses.
Turkish officials have reported that they have reason to believe Khashoggi was killed shortly after entering the consulate. Their reports indicate that the journalist was tortured briefly before being killed and dismembered. After being dismembered, records seem to indicate smaller parts of his body were taken away and disposed of in various place.
This grisly killing is currently being disavowed by the Saudi government as a rogue operation gone wrong. Their story on this incident has changed dramatically as the investigation has gone on. Originally, Saudi officials asserted they had no knowledge of this event. Stories surfaced last week indicating the government might blame Khashoggi’s death on an interrogation gone wrong.
However, it seems unlikely that fifteen highly-trained assassins, armed with a bone saw and disguise kit, would be rogue actors. The current story from the Saudi government seems to suggest this incident is also being covered up by consulate officials. Such a scenario is improbably at best and would require a vast conspiracy on the part of a diplomatic institution.
Turkish officials have promised that the “naked truth” will be brought to light. This case has become a high profile one, as it threatens to strain the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States.