As Donald Trump and the Saudi Arabia royal family on Wednesday were, according to a Washington Post report, scrambling to concoct an explanation for the murder of Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi — an effort one expert quoted by the Post called a "cover up" — horrifying new details of the 60-year-old writer's killing emerged in the Turkish press.
The newspaper Yeni Safak (New Dawn) on Wednesday reported that "numerous" audio recordings of Khashoggi's gruesome torture-killing by a hit team of Saudi assassins exist, and that "sources" had described the grim contents of those recordings to the paper.
The Yeni Safak report appears to corroborate an Inquisitr report, based on information first reported by Middle East Eye, that the Saudi agents began mutilating and dismembering Khashoggi while he was still alive.
According to the Turkish report, "sources indicate that Khashoggi was tortured before he was killed. His fingers were allegedly cut off during the interrogation process before he was decapitated."
At one point, the Saudi consul general asks the killers to perform the murder of Khashoggi "outside," saying, "you're going to get me in trouble." But one of the assassins replies, "Shut up if you want to live when you return to Arabia," according to a New York Daily News account of the original Turkish press report.
Donald Trump in his public statements has appeared skeptical about the involvement of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the gruesome killing of Khashoggi, as the Inquisitr reported. But new reports on Wednesday indicate that United States intelligence agencies now believe that the Saudi ruler ordered at least the kidnapping of Khashoggi — an outspoken critic of bin Salman's regime — or even his murder.
"Officials have also said the prince's complete control over the security services makes it highly unlikely that an operation would have been undertaken without his knowledge," the New York Times reported, noting that U.S. intelligence officials believe that the Crown Prince is "culpable" in the murder of Khashoggi.
In fact, according to a report by Middle East Eye on Wednesday, seven members of the 15-man Saudi hit squad "belong to bin Salman's personal security and protection detail....Most of them are high-ranking officers who accompanied the crown prince on diplomatic visits to the U.K. and France earlier this year."