The latest Spectator Australia hasa brilliant expose of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul:
In truth, Khashoggi never had much time for western-style pluralistic democracy. In the 1970s he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, which exists to rid the Islamic world of western influence. He was a political Islamist until the end, recently praising the Muslim Brotherhood in the Washington Post…
It was Yasin Aktay — a former MP for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) — whom Khashoggi told his fiancée to call if he did not emerge from the consulate. The AKP is, in effect, the Turkish branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. His most trusted friend, then, was an adviser to President Erdogan, who is fast becoming known as the most vicious persecutor of journalists on earth. Khashoggi never meaningfully criticised Erdogan. So we ought not to see this as the assassination of a liberal reformer…
Khashoggi and his fellow travellers believe in imposing Islamic rule by engaging in the democratic process…
JAMAL KHASHOGGI WAS BIN LADEN PAL, MOURNED HIS DEATH, VOUCHED FOR TERROR FUNDER
Media martyr Jamal Khashoggi is being described as a political dissident.
Sure. So were Hitler, Khomeini and Osama bin Laden.
By no coincidence, Jamal Khashoggi was an old friend of Osama bin Laden.
He was a Muslim Brotherhood member and continued backing the Jihadist network.
This is the media’s new martyr. If the Saudis disposed of him, they seem to have gotten rid of a terrorist mouthpiece.
This matters because, although bin Salman has rejected Wahhabism — to the delight of the West — he continues to view the Muslim Brotherhood as the main threat most likely to derail his vision for a new Saudi Arabia. Most of the Islamic clerics in Saudi Arabia who have been imprisoned over the past two years — Khashoggi’s friends — have historic ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Khashoggi had therefore emerged as a de facto leader of the Saudi branch. Due to his profile and influence, he was the biggest political threat to bin Salman’s rule outside of the royal family.
Worse, from the royals’ point of view, was that Khashoggi had dirt on Saudi links to al Qaeda before the 9/11 attacks. He had befriended Osama bin Laden in the 1980s and 1990s in Afghanistan and Sudan while championing his jihad against the Soviets in dispatches. At that same time, he was employed by the Saudi intelligence services to try to persuade bin Laden to make peace with the Saudi royal family. The result? Khashoggi was the only non-royal Saudi who had the beef on the royals’ intimate dealing with al Qaeda in the lead-up to the 9/11 attacks. That would have been crucial if he had escalated his campaign to undermine the crown prince.
Like the Saudi royals, Khashoggi dissociated himself from bin Laden after 9/11 (which Khashoggi and I watched unfold together in the Arab News office in Jeddah). But he then teamed up as an adviser to the Saudi ambassador to London and then Washington, Prince Turki Al Faisal. The latter had been Saudi intelligence chief from 1977 until just ten days before the 9/11 attacks, when he inexplicably resigned. Once again, by working alongside Prince Turki during the latter’s ambassadorial stints, as he had while reporting on bin Laden, Khashoggi mixed with British, US and Saudi intelligence officials. In short, he was uniquely able to acquire invaluable inside information.
According to intelligence officials cited by The Post, the recordings capture the moments before and during what they described as Mr Khashoggi’s violent death. The 59-year-old, a columnist for The Post, was allegedly killed at the hands of a team of Saudi security personnel flown by private jet into Turkey’s main city just hours before he was scheduled to arrive at the consulate to settle routine personal matters.
“The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,” The Post quotes a source as saying.
“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic. You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”
Turkey’s official Anatolia News Agency reported The Post‘s findings, but no official confirmed the existence of the recordings.
On Friday, 10 days after Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance, a team of Saudi officials, reportedly led by Prince Khalid al-Faisal, arrived in Ankara to meet Turkish counterparts seeking his whereabouts.
“A joint working team between Turkey and Saudi Arabia will be formed to investigate the case of Jamal in all its aspects,” Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told reporters late Thursday.
The case has rattled the region and shaken ties between the west and Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter of oil and second largest importer of weapons. Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of its de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has strenuously denied the accusation it was behind Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance, its surrogates denouncing the allegations as “fake news.”
“False reports concerning the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and fabricated by some agencies have not seemed realistic or reasonable,” the pro-regime al-Yaum newspaper said in an unsigned editorial Thursday. “The investigation of his disappearance, which has not been completed so far, could be enough to reveal many facts.”
Many have been unconvinced by the Saudi denials. Over the last few days, several large western firms and prominent figures announced they were pulling out of joint ventures and appearances with the Saudi leadership over the disappearance. Among them were The New York Times, Uber, and The Economist, along with Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, former energy secretary under President Barack Obama, is suspending his involvement advising Saudi Arabia on a $500 billion smart city project.