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These Five Stunning Facts About Slain Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Show Why His Murder Will Rock US-Saudi Relations

October 15, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

The death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi is not going to be easily explained.

The disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2 and allegations of foul play have inspired considerable outrage, with everyone from Sen. Bernie Sanders on the left to journalist Max Boot on the right demanding answers. Turkish government officials are alleging that Saudi government officials lured Khashoggi to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul with the intention of harming him—and that there are video and audio recordings proving that after he was beaten, tortured and killed inside the Consulate, the body was dismembered.

The Saudi government has denied the allegations, insisting that Khashoggi left the Consulate unharmed that day. But there are no videos of the journalist exiting the Consulate, only entering it.

Khashoggi, who was 59 at the time of his disappearance, was an accomplished journalist who was fluent in both Arabic (his native language) and English. Here are some interesting facts about Khashoggi’s history.

1. Khashoggi Interviewed Osama bin Laden Several Times

Long before the 9/11 terror attacks, Khashoggi knew Osama bin Laden—and he interviewed the notorious al-Qaeda leader on several different occasions. Khashoggi first met bin Laden back in the 1980s, when bin Laden was fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. At that point, bin Laden hadn’t become so obsessively anti-American. Khashoggi, reportedly, tried to persuade bin Laden to renounce terrorism—and Saudi intelligence hoped that Khashoggi could talk bin Laden into making peace with the Saudi royal family. But bin Laden became more and more extreme and bloodthirsty as the 1990s progressed, and his fanaticism reached a horrifying peak on September 11, 2001.

After the al-Qaeda terrorist’s death in May 2011, Khashoggi was interviewed by CNN and explained that the methods bin Laden adopted were a perversion of Islam. Looking back, Khashoggi said that when he knew bin Laden back in 1985, he couldn’t begin to imagine that he would resort to such “ugly” and “horrific” methods in the future.

2. Khashoggi Was Fired from Al Watan for Allowing Criticism of Ibn Taymiyya

After serving as editor in chief of Arab …read more


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