Brit spooks leak story that UK knew of assassination plot on Khashoggi
The U.K. Daily Express, a tabloid newspaper that has favored Brexit and generally is conservative, has published an article based on leaks from the U.K.'s spy agency equivalent of our NSA, the British GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters). The leakers purport to know that, thanks to communications intercepts (that is, electronic spying on the Saudis), the British government was well aware of a plot to kidnap and return to Saudi Arabia Jamal Khashoggi, a political operative of the Muslim Brotherhood in opposition to the reformist Prince Mohammed bin Salman, sporting a cover story of being a contributing columnist at the Washington Post.
Marco Giannangeli writes:
Intercepts by GCHQ of internal communications by the kingdom's General Intelligence Directorate revealed orders by a "member of the royal circle" to abduct the troublesome journalist and take him back to Saudi Arabia.
The orders, intelligence sources say, did not emanate directly from de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and it is not known if he was aware of them.
Though they commanded that Khashoggi should be abducted and taken back to Riyadh, they "left the door open" for other actions should the journalist prove to be troublesome, sources said.
If true, this establishes premeditation, while allowing for the possibility of an intent to merely kidnap, as opposed to murder and dismember, the operative. It also leaves open the question of culpability of the de facto ruler, MbS.
I don't trust the motives of anyone associated with GCHQ any more than I trust our own Deep State operatives in the vast intelligence apparatus. But it is worth noting that if this story is true, under the "Five Eyes" intelligence sharing arrangement, our own Deep Staters were made aware of the plot and did not obstruct it. Was President Trump informed in his Presidential Daily Briefing?
If so, he has some questions to answer. If not, the intelligence agencies that are supposed to work for him have some 'splainin' to do.
With multiple intelligence agencies at work, this entire situation is a hall of mirrors. I don't trust any reports.
The story continues, cliaming that Khashoggi was about to expose Saudi use of chemical weapons in Yemen, where Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are attempting to establish a base for the mullahs' regime on the flank of their greatest enemy in the Islamic world:
Last night a close friend of Mr Khashoggi revealed that he was about to obtain "documentary evidence" proving claims that Saudi Arabia had used chemical weapons in its proxy war in Yemen.
"I met him a week before his death. He was unhappy and he was worried," said the middle eastern academic, who did not wish to be named.
"When I asked him why he was worried, he didn't really want to reply, but eventually he told me he was getting proof that Saudi Arabia had used chemical weapons. He said he hoped he be getting documentary evidence.
"All I can tell you is that the next thing I heard, he was missing."
Image credit: GCHQ.