Police report reveals new details on Khashoggi killing

By Halil Demir
ISTANBUL (AA) – A police report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last fall in Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Thursday revealed some more details of the crime.
The 2018 annual report, published by the Istanbul police department, stated that two water wells and a tandoor oven which could be fired with natural gas and wood were found in the consulate.
The report emphasized that the temperature of the tandoor oven can be increased to a thousand Celsius (1832 F), destroying all the DNA.
– Saudi hit team includes forensic expert

On the day of the event, the Saudi team of 15 people who entered the consulate was including a forensic expert from the Saudi Interior Ministry.
The 47-year-old expert Lieutenant Colonel Salah Mohammed A. Tubaigy studied his master’s thesis on DNA analysis from a bone.
The report noted that this person has the expertise to know whether there is DNA or not on rotting and burned bones.

– 32 servings of raw meat

Investigations carried out in the region revealed that after the killing of Khashoggi, 32-portion uncooked meat was ordered to the Consulate from a famous restaurant, according to the report.
"Unavoidably many more questions come to the mind… Was cooking meat in the tandoor oven part of the plans that they already made? Of course, these questions will be clarified. Investigations have not been finalized yet."

– 'Interesting' tip-off from US

Turkey’s anti-terror branch said that it received a total of 224 tip-offs and one of the most "interesting" tip-offs came from the U.S. during the investigation into the killing.
It includes a tip-off of an anonymous person, mentioning a link to NASA, which claimed that they took Jamal Khashoggi to Cairo and killed there.

– Fiancee of Khashoggi could be 'second victim'

The report said that a consulate officer was waiting for Khashoggi at the entrance of the building. The officer reported the arrival of Saudi journalist to some inside the consulate on the day of the incident.
"The same officer didn’t give the information that 'someone is waiting for Khashoggi' despite seeing Hatice Cengiz [fiancee of Khashoggi]. If he mentioned it, maybe the execution would be stopped," said the report.
“There is another possibility… Perhaps Hatice Cengiz would be the second victim of the violence as her fiancee."
Evident from the areas that were cleaned with chemicals is that they tried to cover the planned killing, the report noted.
It also said that the hit team was easily carrying their suitcases with them while entering the building, while they had difficulty in carrying them leaving the consulate.
The police authorities stand on the possibility that Khashoggi’s body could have been burned.

– Killing of Saudi journalist

Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the country's consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Riyadh offered various, conflicting narratives to explain his disappearance before acknowledging he was murdered in the diplomatic building, seeking to blame his death on a botched rendition operation being carried out by rogue agents.
But that explanation has been roundly rejected outside of the Kingdom, as pressure has mounted for Crown Prince bin Salman, whom many believe had to have signed off on Khashoggi's killing, to be held to account.

US Senator demands answers on Khashoggi murder

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – A ranking Senate Democrat on the Foreign Relations committee on Thursday called on the Donald Trump administration to hand over all documents related to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Sen. Bob Menendez sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting records as to whether any member of the Saudi royal family, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were responsible for the killing of Khashoggi.

Menendez also requested all documents relating to the "cause of or circumstances surrounding the death of Jamal Khashoggi" and "efforts to obtain information regarding the death."

Last week, Trump decided not to pursue further punishments against Saudi Arabia over the murder, and failed to send a report to Congress determining whether sanctions are warranted against bin Salman for the murder of the Washington Post columnist and U.S. resident.

Khashoggi was brutally murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul shortly after he entered the diplomatic facility on Oct. 2. Riyadh initially denied any role in the killing but has since sought to blame his death on a botched rendition operation being carried out by rogue agents.

Saudi Arabia has sought to distance the crown prince from Khashoggi's murder, as has Trump.

The letter called on Trump to respond to the request made by Congress when it made a request to the administration last year to determine whether sanctions should be applied to bin Salman by invoking the Global Magnitsky Act.

Under the Global Magnitsky Act, a president has 120 days to respond to a request from the Senate Foreign Relations chair and ranking member to determine if sanctions are warranted against a person who has been accused of rights violations.

"Despite foreign and international officials investigating this matter who have concluded that senior Saudi officials bear responsibility for Mr. Khashoggi’s murder, this administration has been conspicuously reticent to hold senior officials and senior members of the Royal Family accountable," Menendez wrote.

"Now, despite a mountain of credible evidence, this administration seeks to avoid not only the spirit but the very letter of the law. This is wholly unacceptable for a nation built on the rule of law and committed to the protection of human rights," he added.

*Michael Hernandez contributed to this report

Saudi Arabia 'regrets' its inclusion on EU blacklist

                             RIYADH (AA) - Saudi Arabia on Thursday voiced its “regret” over its inclusion on the EU’s revised list of countries considered to be &quot;high risk&quot; in terms of terrorism financing and money laundering.</p>    <p>“Saudi Arabia notes with regret the European Commission’s revised list… which includes Saudi Arabia, despite the latter’s adoption of measures to reinforce its legal framework, leading to enhanced cooperation with its counterparts,” read a government statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.</p>    <p>“The Kingdom reaffirms its commitment to the common fight against money laundering and terrorism financing -- a commitment it shares with its international partners and allies,” it added.</p>    <p>The statement goes on to point out that Saudi Arabia remains an active member of a U.S.-led military coalition against the Daesh terrorist group.</p>    <p>Saudi Finance Minister Mohamed al-Jadaan, for his part, was quoted as saying that Riyadh’s commitment to combatting the twin trends remains a “strategic priority for the Kingdom”.</p>    <p>“We will continue to develop and enhance our regulatory framework to achieve this goal,” SPA quoted al-Jadaan as saying, going on to stress that the revised list still required the approval of the European Parliament. </p>    <p>On Wednesday, the European Commission added Saudi Arabia’s name to its list, which, according to a commission statement, &quot;is aimed at protecting the EU financial system by preventing risks posed by money laundering and terrorist financing&quot;.</p>    <p>“As a result of the listing,” the statement adds, “banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased checks (due diligence) on financial operations involving customers and financial institutions from these high-risk third countries to better identify any suspicious money flows.&quot;</p>    <p>Along with Saudi Arabia, the revised list also reportedly includes Afghanistan, American Samoa, the Bahamas, Botswana, North Korea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guam, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Yemen.

Anadolu Agency book on Jamal Khashoggi available online

                By Sefa Sahin</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - A book published by Anadolu Agency unfolding the murder of a Saudi journalist in Istanbul can be accessed online free of charge.

Jamal Khashoggi's Murder, available in Turkish, English and Arabic, includes developments, stories, photos, infographics and analyses.

The Saudi journalist was murdered inside the Kingdom's Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018.

Beginning with Khashoggi's life story, the book contains his views and comments on the civil war in Yemen, policies of Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. attitude toward Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt and war-weary Syria.

Furthermore, the book sheds light on the perpetrators of the murder and hit squads from Saudi Arabia, with their photos and background details.

In addition to reactions by international leaders on the murder, the book also presents a family tree of Saudi royals.

The book can be accessed here:

https://www.aa.com.tr/uploads/userFiles/79121245-49cb-4f77-bd45-d9d308a833b3/08_2019%2F11_subat%2F03%2FCEMALKASIKCI-CINAYETI-EN.pdf

A contributor to The Washington Post, Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After producing contradictory explanations, Riyadh acknowledged that he had been killed inside the consulate, blaming the act on a botched rendition operation by rogue agents.

Turkey has sought the extradition of the Saudi nationals involved in the murder, along with a full account of the incident from the Saudi leadership.

UPDATE – Bill to end support for Yemen war clears US House

            ADDS DETAILS THROUGHOUT</p>  <p>By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) – The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation Wednesday that would require President Donald Trump to halt U.S. assistance for the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen. </p>  <p>The bill will now head to the Senate for consideration following the 248-177 vote. </p>  <p>&quot;Today is historic. This is the culmination of several years of legislative efforts to end our involvement in the Saudi war in Yemen,&quot; Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna, who spearheaded the bill, said in a statement after the vote.</p>  <p>&quot;I’m encouraged by the direction people are pushing our party to take on foreign policy, promoting restraint and human rights and with the sense they want Congress to play a much larger role,&quot; he added. </p>  <p>If the War Powers Resolution -- in part a response to Saudi Arabia's killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi -- is able to clear the Senate, it will head to Trump's desk, where it will likely be vetoed. The White House has previously threatened the measure. </p>  <p>Regardless, if it clears the Senate, it would mark the first time federal lawmakers checked a president's authority to use military force under a 1973 bill intended to allow Congress to do so if a president committed forces without a formal declaration of war.</p>  <p>A measure similar to the one that cleared the House Wednesday had passed the Republican-held Senate 56 to 41 in December. </p>  <p>It failed to clear the legislature last year when the then-Republican House leadership blocked it from progressing. The chamber has since switched hands, allowing for the revamped measure to clear the House.</p>  <p>If Trump does issue a veto of the legislation, it would be the first time he has done so in his presidency. </p>  <p>While Khashoggi's death certainly plays a role in the bill's congressional momentum, so too does Yemen's spiraling humanitarian catastrophe.</p>  <p>Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of countries against Yemen's Houthi rebels since 2015, when Riyadh and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains that began the year prior. </p>  <p>The Saudi-led campaign in Yemen has devastated the country's infrastructure, including its health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe it as one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times.</p>  <p> 

Bill to end support for Yemen war clears US House

            <p>By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) – The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation Wednesday that would require President Donald Trump to halt U.S. assistance for the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen. </p>  <p>The bill will now head to the Senate for consideration following the 248-177 vote. </p>  <p>&quot;Today is historic. This is the culmination of several years of legislative efforts to end our involvement in the Saudi war in Yemen,&quot; Rep. Ro Khanna, who spearheaded the bill, said in a statement after the vote. </p>  &quot;I’m encouraged by the direction people are pushing our party to take on foreign policy, promoting restraint and human rights and with the sense they want Congress to play a much larger role,&quot; he added. 

Saudi Arabia lifts ban on travel to Lebanon

                                 BEIRUT (AA) – Riyadh has lifted a year-old ban on travel to Lebanon by Saudi nationals, the kingdom’s ambassador to Beirut announced Wednesday. </p>    <p>At a press conference, Ambassador Walid Bukhari attributed the decision to lift the ban to what he described as improved security conditions in Lebanon.</p>    <p>Bukhari spoke to reporters after a closed-door meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Nizar bin Sulaiman al-Alula, a Saudi royal envoy currently visiting Beirut. </p>    <p>The Saudi ban on travel to Lebanon was first imposed in late 2017 after Hariri, during a tense visit to Riyadh, abruptly announced his resignation from the premiership -- a move he reversed two weeks later upon his return to Lebanon.

EU adds Saudi Arabia to 'dirty money' blacklist

By Ata Ufuk Seker

BRUSSELS (AA) – The European Commission on Wednesday added Saudi Arabia to a blacklist of countries that pose a threat due to failing to crack down on money-laundering and terrorist financing.

"The aim of this list is to protect the EU financial system by better preventing money laundering and terrorist financing risks," it said in a statement.

"As a result of the listing, banks and other entities covered by EU anti-money laundering rules will be required to apply increased checks (due diligence) on financial operations involving customers and financial institutions from these high-risk third countries to better identify any suspicious money flows."

Besides Saudi Arabia, the list includes Afghanistan, American Samoa, the Bahamas, Botswana, North Korea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guam, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Yemen.

Palestine's Abbas meets Saudi king in Riyadh

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh on Tuesday, according to the official Wafa news agency.

Abbas briefed the Saudi monarch on the latest Palestinian developments, the situation in Jerusalem and ongoing Israeli violations against the Palestinians, Wafa said.

According to the news agency, the Palestinian leader also discussed "conspiracies being orchestrated to endorse the U.S.-proposed "deal of the century" — a backchannel plan to reach a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinian leadership has rejected U.S. mediation since late 2017 when U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

US wants ex-Saudi aide punished in Khashoggi killing

            By Michael Hernandez</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. is asking Saudi Arabia behind closed doors to hold a former top official implicated in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to account, according to a report published Monday. </p>  <p>Riyadh has thus far staunchly resisted U.S. pressure to take action against Saud al-Qahtani over Khashoggi's Oct. 2 slaying in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous Saudi and American officials. </p>  <p>Al-Qahtani previously served as the de facto right-hand man to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a post he has since been formally removed from even as he has continued to serve as an informal adviser to Saudi Arabia's royal court. </p>  <p> “We don’t see that Saud al-Qahtani is very constrained in his activities,” an anonymous senior State Department official told the newspaper. </p>  <p>Al-Qahtani was one of 17 Saudis sanctioned by the U.S. in December over Khashoggi's killing. Turkey is also seeking his extradition. </p>  <p>Saudi officials confirmed to the Journal that he remains an informal advisor to bin Salman, the Kingdom's de facto ruler, even after he was fired by Saudi King Salman.</p>  <p>Pressure has continued on the U.S. administration to hold bin Salman personally responsible for Khashoggi's killing, but it has so far resisted. </p>  <p>Last Friday, President Donald Trump ignored a congressional deadline to publicly determine whether sanctions are warranted against bin Salman.