Khashoggi killers were trained in the U.S.: report

Four members of the Saudi hit squad that killed U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 had received paramilitary training in the United States that had been approved by the State Department, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Khashoggi, a Saudi-born U.S. resident, who wrote for The Washington Post, was an outspoken critic of the Saudi leadership, with which he had once been close. He was murdered on October 2, 2018, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a team of agents sent from Saudi Arabia.

Four of those operatives, The New York Times said, had received training from a private American security group, Tier 1 Group, a move first authorised by the administration of former President Barack Obama in 2014.

That training continued at least until the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, the newspaper said. It cited a document provided to the Trump administration by a top official from the parent company of Tier 1 Group, the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, who had applied for a senior post at the Pentagon.

In his written testimony, Louis Bremer confirmed that Tier 1 Group did provide training to the Saudi agents, but insisted that the training was “protective in nature” and “unrelated to their subsequent heinous acts”.

The U.S. State Department, contacted by AFP, said it could not comment on this information but called for the “responsible use ... of American military equipment and training”.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 3:55:30 AM |

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