The world was greeted on October 2, 2018, with the shocking news that Jamal Khashoggi, a fierce critic of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is missing. Khashoggi, who himself had gone into exile from his native Saudi Arabia and was living in the United States at the time, is said to have gone to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey to pick up a document related to his wedding, which was to take place in the coming days – with his Turkish fiancée waiting for him outside the main entrance – and never left the consulate.
Since then the world has been asking the question: where is Jamal Khashoggi and what happened to him? So many theories are now in play, especially that of the Turkish government, which claims that Mr. Khashoggi was killed in the embassy and his body was dismembered inside the consulate. This theory is supported by the claim that when a joint team of Saudi and Turkish officials inspected the consulate on October 15, there was evidence of deliberate efforts to conceal a crime seen in the consulate.
The other theory insists that the journalist was abducted and flown back to Saudi Arabia. This came about because Turkish officials (with evidence for their case) said that on the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, a total of about fifteen agents of the Saudi Arabian government landed in Istanbul in two Gulfstream IV private jets linked to the Saudi throne. The agents are said to have waited for Mr. Khashoggi at the consulate and abducted (or killed) him upon his arrival.
In all this, the Saudi government has consistently rejected all accusations and theories linking them to his disappearance. According to Saudi officials, Jamal Khashoggi did indeed enter the consulate through the main entrance, but they insist that he entered through the back entrance. However, they have yet to present evidence to substantiate their claim; and this suggestion also raises the question of why he (Chashoggi) should enter through the back entrance since his fiancée was waiting for him at the main entrance.
Who is Jamal Khashoggi? – Bio
Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi is a prominent journalist of Saudi origin. He also has ancestral connections to Turkey and has been living in the United States since June 2017, after he himself went into exile from Saudi Arabia. The reason for his self-imposed exile is that he felt that the atmosphere for freedom of speech had been stifled, which had been the case since the announcement of Mohammed bin Salman, who was appointed to the royal throne of Saudi Arabia as Crown Prince. Since the endorsement, the Crown Prince has aggressively sought to soften criticism of the royal kingdom, while at the same time seeking to open the kingdom to the world.
Khashoggi was initially suspected of being a Saudi spy when he arrived in the United States, but he has since established himself as a prominent critic of the current Saudi leadership, frequently criticizing the rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Washington Post. He lived in the U.S. state of Virginia and had recently bought a house in Turkey when his forthcoming marriage to a Turkish citizen was promised because he and his fiancée had agreed on a shuttle service between the U.S. and Turkey.
Although his exact date of birth is not known, Khashoggi, who was born in Medina, Saudi Arabia in 1958, was the grandson of Muhammad Khashoggi, who married a Saudi woman. Muhammad, a physician, served the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz Al Saud, as his personal physician on the throne. Raised on the peninsula, Jamal Khashoggi attended primary and secondary school in Saudi Arabia before moving to the United States to study business administration. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University, Indiana, in 1982.
He began his journalistic career in 1983 as a correspondent for the Saudi Gazette and then reported for several Arab newspapers between 1987 and 1990. Khashoggi had several stays in Afghanistan, which brought him close to the late Osama bin Laden. In the course of his career, he worked as a foreign correspondent in several Middle Eastern countries. During the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, he was deputy editor-in-chief of Arab News, and his insights into Osama bin Laden based on their relationship were invaluable.
He was considered very controversial by his government, and his critical views of Islamic extremists led to his dismissal as editor-in-chief of the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Watan in 2003. He was reappointed to the same position until 2007 but had to resign in May 2010. Jamal Khashoggi worked as a political commentator for top international media such as Al Jazeera, BBC, Dubai TV, and MBC before he started writing for the Washington Post in September 2018.
Fiancee and Family of The Missing Journalist
It was said that Jamal Khashoggi would obtain a document that would confirm his divorce from his first wife, Dr. Alaa Nassif, with whom he shares two sons, one named Salah and the other Abdullah. The reason given for their divorce was the strain of the distance between them since he was in self-exile outside Saudi Arabia. Moreover, he had become engaged to 36-year-old Hatice Cengiz, also known as Khadijah, who is a Turkish citizen and a doctoral student.
However, his first family came out to deny Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancée, and the last person to see him on the last day he was seen. They called her an impostor and claimed that she was unknown to the family. Both Khashoggi’s first wife, Alaa Nassif, and his eldest son, Salah, have given interviews in this regard.
Why Would Saudi Arabia Murder Jamal Khashoggi?
Reasons were given that would explain why the Saudi Arabian Royal Palace could be involved in the disappearance and possible death of Jamal Khashoggi. Firstly, it is true that the Saudi Kingdom has taken a tough stance on freedom of speech, especially towards those who criticize the crown; some journalists are already imprisoned in the country. And Jamal Khashoggi is known to be a very outspoken critic of the Saudi government led by the Crown Prince.
Moreover, it has turned out that Jamal Khashoggi had connections with the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Saudi government has called a terrorist organization. The Muslim Brotherhood has always advocated elections to measure the citizens’ choice by who governs them, and so it is possible that this sounds threatening to the throne.
There is no certainty about where it is or whether it is even dead, and despite all the many fingers pointing at the Saudi government, they have made it clear that the throne knows nothing about the disappearance of the journalist.