- The US State Department on Monday publicly designated 16 individuals it says played a role in Jamal Khashoggi’s gruesome murder last year.
- Those listed and their immediate family members are now barred from entering the US.
- Those named by the State Department had previously been sanctioned by the US under the Global Magnitsky Act.
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The US State Department on Monday publicly designated 16 individuals it says played a role in Jamal Khashoggi‘s gruesome murder. Those listed and their immediate family members are now barred from entering the United States.
Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi government, was killed and dismembered in October by a team of Saudi operatives inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul.
Saudi Arabia initially denied knowledge of the killing, but eventually acknowledged the killing in October and said it fired five top officials and arrested 18 Saudis as part of an initial investigation. The murder prompted protests and global condemnation, and led some countries and businesses to distance themselves from the kingdom.
Trials for the remaining 11 suspects began in January, though the names of the defendants and the charges against them have not been disclosed publicly and court proceedings have been shrouded in secrecy.
Saudi Arabia says its public prosecutor "demanded imposing proper punishments against the defendants and is seeking capital punishment for five of the defendants for their direct involvement in the murder."
The State Department’s list on Monday includes individuals previously identified in CCTV footage released by Turkish officials in November. The list also included individuals sanctioned by the State Department in November under the Global Magnitsky Act, which targets individuals accused of serious human-rights violations.
Saud al-Qahtani, 41
A powerful adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Qatani mysteriously disappeared after Khashoggi’s murder. According to the Wall Street Journal, Qahtani oversaw the elaborate murder plot, and received at least 11 messages from the crown prince around the time of Khashoggi’s death. He reportedly ran the operation via Skype.
Maher Mutreb, 47
A frequent travel companion of the crown prince, Mutreb has been photographed on trips with the crown prince several times last year, during his visits to Paris, Madrid, Boston, Massachusetts, and Houston, Texas. Mutreb was also identified as a diplomat assigned to the Saudi Embassy in London in 2007, according to a British diplomatic roster seen by The New York Times.
Salah Tubaigy, 48
Tubaigy identified as the head of forensic medicine at Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry. In the alleged recording of Khashoggi’s murder, Tubaigy’s voice could be heard on a recording as Khashoggi’s body was dismembered. Tubaigy could reportedly be heard telling the team in the room to block out the "sawing" and "cutting" noises with music.
Meshal Albostani, 32
Naif Alarifi, 33
According to The Washington Post, Alarifi identified himself as a Saudi special forces operator on social media.
Mohammed Alzahrani. 31
Alzahrani was identified as a member of the Saudi Royal Guard by a user of an Arabic caller-ID app called MenoM3ay, The Washington Post reported.
Mansour Abahussain, 46
Abahussain was also identified using MenoM3ay as a member of Saudi intelligence, according to researcher Qutaiba Idlbi.
Khalid Alotaibi, 30
Alotaibi may have traveled to the US during the same time as members of the Saudi royal family, according to The Washington Post.
Abdulaziz Alhawsawi, 30
Alhawsawi was identified using MenoM3ay as a member of the Saudi Royal Guard, according to the Washington Post.
Waleed Alsehri, 38
Alsehri was reportedly promoted to major in the Saudi Air Force last year, The Washington Post reported, citing an old Saudi news report.
Thaar Alharbi, 38
Fahad Albalawi, 33
Albalawi’s name was identified on MenoM3ay as a member of the Royal Guard, according to Idlbi.
Badr Alotaibi, 45
Alotaibi’s name was registered as a major in Saudi intelligence, according to Idlbi.
Mustafa Almadani, 57
Multiple records on MenoM3ay identified him as someone who works for Saudi intelligence.
Saif Alqahtani, 45
Alqahtani has been identified as working for the crown prince by several MenoM3ay users, the Washington Post and the Guardian reported.
Turki Alsehri, 36
Little is known about Alsehri, though he was among those sanctioned by the US in November.
Despite the alleged involvement of individuals closely linked to Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi government has strongly denied the crown royal’s involvement. But in December, senators from across party lines stated with a "high level of confidence" that the crown prince was "complicit" in Khashoggi’s killing and introduced a measure calling for the crown prince to be "held accountable" for numerous human-rights abuses.
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