Worse than Khashoggi: Saudi Arabia is sheltering criminal suspect in hit-and-run death of a young American

Saudi Arabia is exploiting American goodwill and sheltering a citizen who killed a high school student while here as a student, a genuine outrage worthy of the sort of pressure that has been suggested for use against the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Patrick Poole explains:

Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, a Saudi national who was in the U.S. on a student visa attending Portland Community College, was under house arrest in June 2017 after being charged in the hit-and-run death of 15-year-old high school sophomore Fallon Smart.  But just nine days prior to his trial and despite wearing a U.S. Marshals Service GPS ankle monitor, Noorah vanished.

Saudi authorities now admit that Noorah is back home, having arrived a week after his disappearance from Portland.

Local news outlets are reporting that the Saudi consulate may have aided in his escape by providing transportation and a false passport.


Photo credit: Multnomah County Sheriff

Noorah's reported behavior was egregious.

Fallon was killed in August 2016 while crossing the street at a crosswalk when Noorah drove around cars ahead of him that were stopped to let the girl cross.  He was driving 55 to 60 mph in a 25 mph zone when he struck her with his gold Lexus and then drove off.  Her head hit and cracked the windshield. ...

At the time of his arrest, Noorah was driving on a suspended license for 17 parking violations and one previous charge of driving on a suspended license for not having insurance.

That shows contempt for us and our laws.

He later returned to the scene of the crime, was arrested, his passport confiscated, and released on a $100,000 bond posted by the Saudi consulate (presumably in Los Angeles), wearing an ankle bracelet.

Somehow or other he managed to get a passport and a plane ticket back home, where he now shelters, raising deep suspicion that the Saudi government helped him escape justice.  Saudi Arabia does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.  This protects American citizens from extradition to Saudi Arabia for violating its religious laws, among other benefits, but it allows scofflaws to kill our citizens and escape justice – unless Saudi Arabia decides on its own to return him to the United States.

I wish President Trump, the Washington Post, and the rest of the swamp in D.C. cared as much about the death of American Fallon Smart as they did about the death of a Saudi secret agent.  While the killing and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, a secret agent masquerading as a journalist, was a distasteful action by Saudi Arabia, it shouldn't be a huge issue for the United States.  Not only did it take place on foreign soil, but it took place on Saudi soil, within the Saudi diplomatic establishment in Istanbul.  Most of the American outrage that was ginned up was because of the big lie, endlessly repeated, that Khashoggi was a "journalist" working for the Washington Post.  Mark Steyn explains the duplicity upon duplicity of the fraud sold to the American public and only belatedly and obscurely confessed by the Washington Post:

The Washington Post, now publishes a story blandly headlined "Khashoggi's Final Months: An Exile in the Long Shadow of Saudi Arabia" – and way, way deep into the piece, you realize it's not an elegy at all but a modified, limited hang-out to get the Post off an awkward hook and discreetly disclose they were duped:

Perhaps most problematic for Khashoggi were his connections to an organization funded by Saudi Arabia's regional nemesis, Qatar.  Text messages between Khashoggi and an executive at Qatar Foundation International show that the executive, Maggie Mitchell Salem, at times shaped the columns he submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding him to take a harder line against the Saudi government.  Khashoggi also appears to have relied on a researcher and translator affiliated with the organization[.] ...

Editors at The Post's opinion section, which is separate from the newsroom, said they were unaware of these arrangements[.]

You don't say.  In contrast to the Post's shifty, evasive, passive, woozy, blurry headline, Asharq al-Awsat puts the only real news in the story up in its headline:

Text Messages Reveal Khashoggi's 'Problematic' Ties with Qatar

So what exactly is "problematic" about it?

In early August, Salem prodded Khashoggi to write about Saudi Arabia's alliances 'from DC to Jerusalem to rising right wing parties across Europe...bringing an end to the liberal world order that challenges their abuses at home.'

Khashoggi expressed misgivings about such a strident tone, then asked, 'So do you have time to write it?'

'I'll try," she replied.

So in other words The Washington Post passed off foreign-government propaganda as an authentic op-ed opinion column.  Khashoggi wasn't a journalist at all, notwithstanding that pathetic Time "Person of the Year" cover whose truth didn't even make it to December 31st.  This is "problematic" not so much for Khashoggi, whose various body parts are pushing up daisies in various bits of scrub around Turkey, but for the Post.  Indeed, Liz Sly, the Washington Post Beirut bureau chief, concedes that it's not only "problematic" but rises to the level of "worrying":

Worryingly, an executive for the Qatar Foundation helped Jamal Khashoggi write some of his columns and the @washingtonpost didn't know.

It's a lot more than "worrying".  Mainstream media chumps' view of their own profession is a combination of sentimentalized pomposity so deeply ingrained that they can't even tell, even when it's staring them in the face, that they've been played for rubes.

They're the rubes playing the rest of us for rubes.  But if the Saudi diplomats in America helped one of their own skip out on bail and now shelter him in their country, they, too, are playing us for rubes.

Saudi Arabia insists that foreigners who visit it behave by the norms of Saudi society.  No short skirts on women.  No drinking, at least in public.  And never any disrespect shown to their religion or its prophet.

We have the right to insist that Saudis visiting this country play by our rules, too.  Anything less puts us in the position of a colonized country offering extraterritoriality to foreigners.