Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi 'death' squad identified from leaked airport footage

Hatice Cengiz, the Turkish fiancée of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and her friends wait in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Turkey

The request on behalf of Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared a week ago while visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, comes as Turkey said it was preparing to search the diplomatic post.

If missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is found to be murdered, not only Saudi Arabia's relations with Turkey will be harmed, but also Riyadh's relations with the world will suffer, two Turkish senior ruling party members told Al Jazeera.

A veteran journalist, Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to arrange paperwork for his wedding to Cengiz, a Turk.

Though Riyadh has dismissed the allegation as "baseless", their possible consent to a search shows the increasing global pressure the kingdom faces over Khashoggi's disappearance.

The Sabah newspaper published images of the men apparently taken at passport control.

Signs of such a challenge began to emerge Monday night when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the Saudis to "support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation".

Both planes later returned to Riyadh, with one stopping in Dubai and the other in Egypt, the report said, adding that the police were looking into the possibility that Khashoggi was kidnapped.

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.

The newspaper also claimed that Turkish employees at the residence were "hastily" told to take a vacation on the day Khashoggi went missing. Saudi Arabia has dismissed the allegations as "baseless".

According to the Washington Post, U.S. intelligence "intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture" Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia's regime.

Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi 'death' squad identified from leaked airport footage
Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi 'death' squad identified from leaked airport footage

The kingdom is already under pressure amid growing global concern for the writer. Turkish officials fear that the team killed the writer, who was critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

What does Saudi Arabia say?

At 5:32 p.m., cameras show Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, outside the police barricades of the consulate, speaking into her cellphone.

But that's not enough for Khashoggi's fiance, who wrote an op-ed Tuesday imploring "President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance".

A surveillance video image surfaced Tuesday showing Khashoggi walking into the consulate in Istanbul's upscale 4th Levent neighbourhood.

Trump, who took his first overseas trip as US President to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said Tuesday he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi, "but I will be at some point", without elaborating.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Tuesday that Saudi authorities have notified Ankara that they were "open to cooperation" and would allow the consulate building to be searched.

The official also said the journalist may have been killed on the orders of the highest levels of the Saudi royal court.

The search will take place as part of the official investigation, which was being conducted "in an intense manner", he said without giving any date.

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