Jamal Khashoggi: photos of 15-man ‘assassination squad’ surface in Turkish newspaper

Security guards stand outside the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul

Security guards stand outside the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul

Turkish television Wednesday released CCTV footage showing the moment missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul and the movements of a team suspected of involvement in his disappearance.

The Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published images of what it referred to as the "assassination squad" apparently taken at passport control.

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.

The Post elaborated on those accounts in a separate story Tuesday, writing that the Saudi team laid in wait for Khashoggi to enter the consulate.

Then on October 2, as he was about to enter the Saudi Consulate for the second time, Khashoggi left his cellphones with his fiancee, instructing her to inform Yasin Aktay if anything went wrong.

A senior Turkish official told the Times that "Ankara hoped that Washington and the worldwide community would take the lead in challenging Saudi Arabia".

He first visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 28 September to obtain a document certifying that he had divorced his ex-wife, but he was told he would have to return.

Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper and other media alleged Wednesday that the Saudi Consulate's 28 local staff were given leave on October 2 on grounds that a "diplomats' meeting" would be held there on that day.

Khashoggi, a former Saudi government adviser, had been living in the United States since a year ago fearing possible arrest.

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Saudi Arabia is a major investor in Turkey, despite Ankara's support for the Gulf nation of Qatar, which is under a blockade led by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations.

Both planes later returned to Riyadh, with one stopping in Dubai and the other in Egypt, the report said, adding that the police were looking into the possibility that Khashoggi was kidnapped. The footage shows Khashoggi entering the consulate on October 2.

What does Saudi Arabia say?

But he left Saudi Arabia in 2017, fearing censorship and possible detention at the hands of the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Sabah daily on Wednesday published the names and images of what it called the "assassination team" including a man called Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy whose name it said matched that of a lieutenant-colonel in the Saudi forensic department.

An unnamed senior official told the New York Times there was a complex operation in which Mr Khashoggi was killed within two hours of arriving and then dismembered.

Anonymous Turkish sources say the 15 men flew into Istanbul of two private Gulfstream IV jets with tail numbers HZ-SK1 and HZ-SK2.

The Washington Post also reports that prior to Mr Khashoggi's visit, USA intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plot to capture him.

"At this time, I implore President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance", Ms Cengiz wrote. All we do know is he's disappeared, and that Turkish investigators will now search the consulate.

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