Saudi team after Post writer included soldiers, royal guards

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Riyadh has supported the administration's tough stance toward Iran, a key rival of Saudi Arabia in the volatile Middle East. Ali Bakeer, an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, told Daily Sabah that if the Saudis are responsible for killing or kidnapping Khashoggi, and the available evidence until now points to them, then this "barbaric" act should be met with a strong response not only from Turkey but also from the global community and the U.S.in particular.

Donald Trump says he sees no reason to block Saudi investments in the United States, despite growing concerns over the fate of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"If a bird flew, if a mosquito appeared, these systems would catch them and (I believe) they (the Saudis) would have to most advanced of systems". "Everything points to them".

Khashoggi - a U.S. resident and one of the more outspoken critics of the regime of King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and Turkish officials suspect he was murdered.

Turkish sources have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the building and his body removed, allegations that Riyadh dismisses as baseless.

The Washington Post, citing unnamed us officials, reported on Wednesday night that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the abduction of Khashoggi.

The Post, citing anonymous USA officials familiar with the intelligence, said Prince Mohammed ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi from his home in Virginia, where he lived most recently, to Saudi Arabia and then detain him.

Trump, meanwhile, said that while he wants to get to the bottom of what happened to Khashoggi, he does not want that effort to interfere with planned arms sales to Saudi Arabia. "That's a bad situation".

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Global pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia, a close USA ally and a leading oil exporter, about the disappearance of Khashoggi, who entered the consulate to get documents for his planned marriage.

After Trump spoke, the White House said national security adviser John Bolton and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, had spoken to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about the matter on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then had a follow-up call with the crown prince to reiterate the USA request for information and a thorough, transparent investigation.

He also called for at least a temporary halt in USA military support for the Saudi bombing campaign against Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen.

"Saudi Arabia has never been a bastion for press freedom", Radsch said, but added that Trump's repeated cries of "fake news" and "enemy of the people" have made life unsafe for reporters around the globe.

"If it's found that they murdered a journalist, that will hugely change our relationship", Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters. The wealthy former government insider wrote columns for The Washington Post, including some critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia denies this. But after his election, Trump began using it to describe news articles that reflected negatively upon him or his administration. Turkey also requested permission to search the consulate building.

It specifically asks the President to make a determination in relation to Khashoggi.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Saudi Arabia to release images proving that a missing reporter left its consulate in Istanbul. The crown prince's grand economic promises and social reforms, such as allowing women to drive, won him praise internationally but were accompanied by a sharp crackdown on dissent. The fallout could reshape alliances in the region, where the U.S.is seeking to stabilize Syria, contain Iranian weapons development and support a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's civil war.

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