Khashoggi Just the Latest in Saudi Atrocities

Khashoggi Just the Latest in Saudi Atrocities March 19, 2019

The New York Times has a long, detailed investigative report on how Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has established what is essentially a secret police force to kidnap, torture and kill political dissidents and those who might be a threat to his newly-gained power. The killing of Jamal Khashoggi is barely the tip of the iceberg.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia authorized a secret campaign to silence dissenters — which included the surveillance, kidnapping, detention and torture of Saudi citizens — over a year before the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, according to American officials who have read classified intelligence reports about the campaign.

At least some of the clandestine missions were carried out by members of the same team that killed and dismembered Mr. Khashoggi in Istanbul in October, suggesting that his killing was a particularly egregious part of a wider campaign to silence Saudi dissidents, according to the officials and associates of some of the Saudi victims.

Members of the team that killed Mr. Khashoggi, which American officials called the Saudi Rapid Intervention Group, were involved in at least a dozen operations starting in 2017, the officials said.

Some of the operations involved forcibly repatriating Saudis from other Arab countries and detaining and abusing prisoners in palaces belonging to the crown prince and his father, King Salman, the officials and associates said.

Trump talks about the human rights abuses by the Iranian government but ignores the abuses of his pals in Saudi Arabia. Which isn’t exactly new for American policy, of course, but bin Salman taking power has resulted in a barbaric crackdown to preserve his power.

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