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Turkish media releases names, photos of Saudi 'government operatives' suspected in Khashoggi disappearance Open in fullscreen

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Turkish media releases names, photos of Saudi 'government operatives' suspected in Khashoggi disappearance

Khashoggi has penned articles critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 October, 2018

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A Turkish newspaper has named 15 suspects in the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, several of whom have been identified as Saudi intelligence, security or military officers
A Turkish newspaper has identified 15 suspects in the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with one being identified as a Saudi intelligence officer, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Turkish daily Sabah, which is close to the government, revealed early on Wednesday names and images of 15 suspected Saudi operatives who visited Istanbul on the day Khashoggi vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul a week ago.

The outlet published images of the alleged 15-man squad after arriving on two private planes at Istanbul's Ataturk airport last Tuesday.

A source familiar with the matter told The New Arab that one of the men - Maher Abdulaziz M. Mutreb - is a Saudi intelligence officer who was posted at the kingdom's embassy in London in the past.

Mutreb's name appears on a previous list of diplomatic staff at the Saudi mission in London.

Twitter sleuths produced unconfirmed identifications of the alleged official roles of some of the other suspects, many of whom seem to be officers in the Saudi security apparatus.

In a possible grim revelation of what may have went on at the consulate, the Saudi suspect named as S. Muhammed A Tubaigy has been allegedly identified as a forensic official in the Saudi General Security Department.

Jamal Khashoggi, who has penned articles critical of some of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies in the Arab and Western press, vanished a week ago.

Turkish government sources at the weekend said police believed he was killed inside, claims dismissed by Riyadh as "baseless".

According to Sabah, Turkish police have been looking into the two private aircraft which landed at different times carrying 15 people of interest in the case, as well as the possibility that Khashoggi was kidnapped and taken aboard one of the planes.

Reports have also said the team of 15 Saudis were sent to Istanbul and were in the building at the same time as Khashoggi and may have taken the consulate's CCTV footage with them when they returned to Saudi Arabia.

The individuals checked into two hotels close to the consulate.

Both planes later returned to Riyadh with one stopping in Dubai and the other in Egypt, Sabah reported.

The planes belonged to a company based in Saudi Arabia which has links to the state.

Istanbul police experts have been analysing vehicles which entered and left the consulate, some of which were then seen on camera last Tuesday at the consul-general's residence, 200 metres away.

The newspaper also said that Turkish employees at the residence were "hastily" told to take a holiday on the day Khashoggi went missing.

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