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Bipartisan group of senators calls for investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

Bipartisan group of senators calls for investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance”

US President Donald Trump said he has spoken with Saudi Arabia "at the highest level" about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and prominent critic of his country's royal family, who was last seen entering the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

Mr Khashoggi, a USA resident and critic of the Saudi monarchy, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October and has not been seen since. "We don't have any information on that", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Tuesday. "We don't know what happened yet".

"We're demanding everything. We want to see what's going on there".

A bipartisan group of US senators is forcing the Trump administration to investigate the disappearance of a Saudi journalist, triggering a human rights probe that could result in sanctions against Saudi officials and entities. Unlike Trump, Obama had few kind words for the Saudi government, often attacking its history of human rights abuses and its role in funding jihadist terrorism.

Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton and senior advisor Jared Kushner spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman about Khashoggi on Tuesday, the White House confirmed in a statement.

The crown prince of Saudi Arabia ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to the kingdom and detain him, according to a WaPo report citing us intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials.

The case has sparked outrage from human rights and journalism groups.

"It's a very serious situation for us and this White House", Trump said.

It wasn't clear whether the Saudis wanted to interrogate or kill him, or whether the USA warned the journalist he was a target, the person said.

For us, but especially for Jamal, it was particularly significant.

"Reports about Jamal's fate have suggested he was a victim of state-sponsored, cold-blooded murder", said Post publisher and chief executive Fred Ryan. "Silence, denials and delays are not acceptable". "We can not let this happen, to reporters, to anybody".

Khashoggi, who has penned articles critical of some of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies in the Arab and Western press, was a Washington Post op-ed writer.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, vanished on October 2 after entering the consulate to obtain official documents ahead of his marriage to his Turkish fiancee.

While living in Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi was told to stop writing or posting on Twitter, where he has more than 1.6 million followers. Asked if he thought Khashoggi was dead, he answered, "I hope he's not".

Riyadh insisted the Khashoggi left the building and called the murder claims "baseless".

Turkish security officials were working to identify the 15 individuals, English-language state broadcaster TRT World reported, adding that Turkish officials believe the Saudis may have taken the consulate's CCTV footage with them when they returned to Riyadh.

There was a detailed plan to entice Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, according to the Post, which cites intelligence documents outlined by USA officials.



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