There are still more questions than answers surrounding the disappearance of sometime Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. And the whole affair has become a tug-of-war between Middle East interests and an ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and other powers in the region, including Turkey and Qatar.
In the absence of verifiable facts, the American media are floating all kinds of leaks from Turkish sources. As I noted just last month, American media continue to gravitate towards the Erdogan regime, even as Turkey remains the largest jailer of journalists in the world, creating several layers of irony in the Khashoggi saga.
But in the past 24 hours we now have a glimpse of exactly who is feeding the establishment media reporting on the Khashoggi matter — including at least one source who was tied to a joint Libyan intelligence and al-Qaeda plot to assassinate the Saudi crown prince.
Earlier today, Yahoo News published an article quoting an associate close to Khashoggi. The source conveniently said that President Trump’s criticism of the media is directly tied to the alleged decision by the Saudi Crown Prince to have Khashoggi murdered.
The source for this article and the allegation is Khaled Saffuri:
A close friend of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi tells @Isikoff and me that Saudi Crown Prince MBS may have felt emboldened by Trump’s anti-media rhetoric. “Trump hates journalists and he would not react if we kill one journalist,” says Khaled Saffuri. https://t.co/Q207QgVXFC
— Daniel Klaidman (@dklaidman) October 12, 2018
Saffuri also appears as a named source in a Daily Beast article from earlier this week on Khashoggi’s alleged pro-democracy efforts.
It would be helpful to explain to our readers just who Mr. Saffuri is.