Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, was murdered in extremely horrifying fashion, according to the independent, London-based news outlet Middle East Eye, which published a report on Tuesday based on what the site said was information from a source who had listened to an audio recording of the murder.
Khashoggi, age 60, was a frequent and outspoken critic of the Saudi regime.
Earlier on Tuesday, as the Inquisitr reported, a Turkish official said that Khashoggi's body was cut into pieces by his killers — believed to be agents of the Saudi government — following his death.
The Saudi agents were sent to "interrogate" Khashoggi and kidnap him back to Saudi Arabia, according to a CNN report based on information from a Turkish source, who said that the reporter was killed when the interrogation went somehow terribly wrong.
But the report by Middle East Eye contradicts key details in the CNN report. According to MEE, which is edited by former veteran Guardian foreign affairs correspondent David Hearst, the Saudi agents never planned to "interrogate" Khashoggi but instead were under orders specifically to kill the journalist — an assignment they carried out in grisly and sadistic fashion, in a torture-murder that took a full seven minutes to complete. The grotesque mutilation of Khashoggi began while he was still alive, and his screams were heard by a witness downstairs in the consulate, ending only when the Saudi killers injected Khashoggi "with an as yet unknown substance," MEE reported.
"The anonymous source, who claimed to have heard a recording captured on Khashoggi's Apple watch, told Middle East Eye that Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2," the Daily Mail reported, in a summary of the MEE report. "According to the source, the tape reveals that Khashoggi was dragged from the Consul General's office to a table next door in a study where he was surgically dismembered."
The torture-killing of Khashoggi lasted seven full minutes, and was carried out by Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy, "who has been identified as the head of forensic evidence in the Saudi general security department," according to MEE. Tubaigy was one of a 15-member squad of Saudi agents who flew into Istanbul on two private jets earlier the same day of Khashoggi's disappearance. He was one of the group named by Turkish officials on October 11, according to the Washington Post.
In a macabre detail reported by the MEE source, "Tubaigy began to cut Khashoggi's body up on a table in the study while he was still alive....As he started to dismember the body, Tubaigy put on earphones and listened to music. He advised other members of the squad to do the same."