At least some Saudi brokers concerned in the grisly homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi skilled in the US as a part of Washington’s broader plan to ‘modernize’ Saudi intelligence, a brand new report by the Washington Post says.
Members of the so-called Saudi Rapid Intervention Group, which was allegedly despatched to the Istanbul consulate in October 2018 to take care of the self-exiled journalist and critic of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, underwent training in America as a part of a program launched beneath a State Department license, Washington Post columnist, David Ignatius, wrote, citing Saudi and US sources.
The CIA reportedly warned different authorities businesses that the special-operations training the Saudis may need received was carried out by Tier 1 Group, an Arkansas-based firm as a part of ongoing liaison with the Saudis.
The hit-team’s alleged chief, Colonel Maher Mutreb, is particularly stated to be the one, who received the US training. Mutreb reportedly served in London as a deputy chief of station between 2002 and 2007, and was later repeatedly despatched to the US and elsewhere for training, Ignatius stated.
Mutreb himself reportedly instructed his associates in Saudi Arabia that he had gone to a number of training applications in the US over the previous decade. Washington additionally deliberate to launch a broader training program for Saudis, which was developed by a non-public agency known as Culpeper National Security Solutions with assist from some former CIA officers.
One of the Saudi contacts, who was concerned in this system improvement was Major General Ahmed al-Assiri, Riyadh’s deputy intelligence chief, who’s now additionally beneath investigation over his alleged position in the Khashoggi killing. The Culpeper’s board was, in the meantime, led by Michael Morell, the previous appearing director of the CIA, who allegedly give up the challenge following the high-profile homicide, in keeping with Ignatius.
Khashoggi’s homicide apparently disrupted Washington’s and Riyadh’s plans because the broad training program was placed on maintain, pending a State Department’s approval of a license. The US-Saudi trade applications, which the hit crew members participated in, have been additionally allegedly stopped in the wake of the incident.