Jamal Khashoggi: photos of 15-man ‘assassination squad’ surface in Turkish newspaper

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But she also implored "President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance".

The scaled up pressure came after members of Congress demanded the administration confront Saudi Arabia, a major U.S. security and trading partner that Trump has embraced. The Saudi government has fiercely denied that allegation.

A source told the Washington Post that USA intelligence "intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him".

"It's a very sad situation, it's a very bad situation, Trump said". "It's a awful thing".

The Saudi consulate referred Reuters to authorities in Riyadh who have not responded to questions about the 15 Saudis, who arrived in the city hours before he went missing on October 2.

"We can not let this happen - to reporters, to anybody", he added during the Oval Office meeting with the Secretary of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator.

The Trump administration is actively considering waivers on sanctions it will reimpose next month for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil, a United States government official said on Friday.

Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi, a critic of Salman who has been living in self-imposed exile in the US, either was murdered October 2 inside the consulate when he went there to pick up documents to allow him to marry Cengiz, a Turkish national, or was spirited away to Riyadh.

Khashoggi had written a series of columns for the Washington Post that were critical of Saudi Arabia's assertive Prince Mohammed, who has led a widely publicized drive to reform the conservative Sunni monarchy but has also presided over the arrests of activists and businessmen.

A veteran journalist, Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to arrange paperwork for his wedding to Cengiz, a Turk. Khashoggi is a columnist for The Washington Post who had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States.

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Britain's foreign minister called for urgent answers and the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker, who has seen classified intelligence on the case, said information pointed to Khashoggi being killed.

Indication of those stakes came within four months of Trump taking office, when Saudi Arabia became his first destination on a presidential trip and he announced $110 billion in proposed arms sales. "I think we'll get to the bottom of it".

Protesters hold posters of Khashoggi during a demonstration organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to the consulate on Monday.

Hatice Cengiz made the plea late Tuesday in The Washington Post, the paper Khashoggi wrote for before he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, after which he has not been seen again.

Cengiz's Twitter feed reveals that she follows and endorses people who are critics of Saudi Arabia, organizations known to enjoy Qatari funding, Muslim Brotherhood members and Turkey's ruling party. Twelve of them arrived early on Tuesday, based on photos captured at passport control which it published.

Anonymous Turkish sources say the 15 men flew into Istanbul of two private Gulfstream IV jets with tail numbers HZ-SK1 and HZ-SK2.

Almost two hours later, the video shows two vehicles with diplomatic plates -a luxury black sedan and a black Mercedes VITO van- leave through the police barricades outside the consulate. The 15 departed at four different times, Sabah reported.

One of the first images from the CCTV footage shared by 24 TV broadcaster showed Khashoggi enter the consulate at 1:14 pm (1014 GMT). "Silence, denials and delays are not acceptable", Ryan wrote in a statement.

"We knew of Jamal's interest in building platforms to promote the discussion of issues that he is passionate about, notably freedom and democracy in the Middle East", he said.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday authorities would search the Saudi consulate, but there have been no details about when such a search would take place. Saudi officials maintain he left the consulate shortly after entering, although it has failed to provide evidence to support that.

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