A few of Jamal Khashoggi’s killers received training in the United States, according to a Washington Post column.
Journalist Khashoggi, who had relocated to the United States after fearing for his life because of his reporting, was killed last October in Turkey’s Saudi embassy when he went to collect documentation for his marriage. The journalist was reportedly hacked to death before his body was mutilated inside the embassy. Multiple investigations have concluded that Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed bin Salman had given the orders to carry out the killing, but Khashoggi’s body is yet to be found.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, Mohammed bin Salman has not been held to account. But according to new reporting, it is not only the crown prince who is to be blamed for the attack, but the United States too. David Ignatius of the Washington Post conducted interviews with more than a dozen U.S. and Saudi sources to find out that some of the members of Khashoggi’s killing team received training in the U.S. conducted by Tier 1 Group, an Arkansas-based company.
The report claims that the training by the Tier 1 Group was part of a wider intelligence and military collaboration between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and since Khashoggi’s killing, it has been called off indefinitely. The report went on to say that another training program, in which the U.S. is supposed to help Saudi intelligence modernize its ways, has also been put on hold since Khashoggi’s killing, as the State Department wouldn’t approve it.
The killing of Jamal Khashoggi is rocking the U.S.-Saudi partnership, insiders tell Post columnist David Ignatius https://t.co/ANDm9jDHoi
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 29, 2019
This intelligence collaboration, reportedly developed by Culpeper National Security Solutions, with help from prominent former CIA officials, also involved Ahmed al-Assiri, the Saudi deputy chief of intelligence who is under investigation for his role in the Khashoggi killing, reports Al Jazeera. Both these groups are owned by a private investment group based in New York called the Cerberus Capital Management. When Ignatius approached the investment group to find out if it had been responsible for the training of Saudi citizens responsible for Khashoggi’s killing, the company chose to remain quiet about its affairs.
“The bottom line is that unless the crown prince takes ownership of this issue and accepts blame for murderous deeds done in his name, his relationship with the United States will remain broken,” the Washington Post column stated.
If true, this would mark a strange development in the longstanding saga of Khashoggi’s killing. If evidence of America’s direct involvement in the murder of the journalist is uncovered, the U.S. would find it hard to defend itself amid a growing tide of resentment by the media already believing the government has not done enough to punish the culprits.