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Khashoggi Killers Were Trained in America: Report

David Ignatius reports on how the kingdom 'misused' US training
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2019 1:27 PM CDT
In this Jan. 29, 2011 file photo, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, FILE)

(Newser) – Saudis who took part in Jamal Khashoggi's murder were likely trained in America—a fact that appears to have further damaged relations between the US and Saudi Arabia, MSN reports. In the Washington Post, columnist David Ignatius reveals more about the killing itself and reports on how some Saudi Rapid Intervention Group members were trained. "The Khashoggi story is a lesson in how US-supported intelligence and special-operations capabilities can be misused by other countries," he writes. American and Saudi sources point to US training, while the CIA suggests Arkansas-based company Tier 1 Group did it under a State Department license. That training, as well as a draft project by Culpeper National Security Solutions to boost the Saudi intelligence service, is now on hold.

Both companies are linked to a New York-based investment group that's connected to the Trump administration. That group, Cerberus Capital Management, wouldn't confirm Tier 1's training of the Khashoggi killers, but an insider did say "we know that this horrendous incident occurred" and "companies must emphasize rigorous ethical evaluation policies." As for the Trump link, Cerberus co-chief executive Stephen Feinberg is on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board. The killing itself appears as grisly as ever: A Saudi who read a transcript of a bug in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul says Khashoggi was apparently given a sedative before a bag was put over his head, he screamed that he couldn't breathe, and a buzzing noise erupted—possibly the electric saw used to cut him to pieces. (Read more Jamal Khashoggi stories.)

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