Saudi Arabia and Israel have secretly reached an estimated $250-million deal, which includes supplying the kingdom with Israeli espionage technologies, a report says.
“Some of the spy systems, which are the most sophisticated systems Israel has ever sold to any Arab country, have already been transferred to Saudi Arabia and put into use after a Saudi technical team received training in operating them,” the srael’s Jerusalem Post said.
Taking a page from the U.S. president’s own playbook, China on Thursday denounced a U.S. newspaper report that it is listening to Donald Trump’s phone calls as “fake news,” and suggested he exchange his iPhone for a cellphone made by Chinese manufacturer Huawei. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said:
“Firstly, The New York Times should know that such a report just provides another piece of evidence that The New York Times is making fake news. Secondly, I suggest they replace their iPhone with Huawei ones if they are really concerned about security issues.”
Saudi Arabia initially denied knowledge of his fate. Then, on Saturday, its public prosecutor said Jamal Khashoggi had been killed in a fight in the consulate, an explanation that has drawn international scepticism. Most of the 15 worked in the Saudi military or security and intelligence services, including at the royal court, according to Saudi and Turkish officials and several sources with ties to the royal court.
US President Donald Trump said the Saudis had a “very bad original concept” in killing Jamal Khashoggi, the 59-year-old Saudi insider-turned-critic.
“It was carried out poorly and the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups. It was a total fiasco. I’m saying they should have never thought about it. Once they thought about it, everything else they did was bad too … It should have never happened.”
The images, which were published by CNN on Monday, show the decoy leaving the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by the back door, wearing Mr Khashoggi’s clothes, a fake beard, and glasses, in the hours after he was killed. Four hours earlier Mr Madani, 57, who is of similar height, age and build to Khashoggi, entered the building by the front door, without a beard, wearing a blue and white checked shirt and dark blue trousers.
“Khashoggi’s clothes were probably still warm when Madani put them on,” a senior Turkish official told CNN.
So grave is the fallout from the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that King Salman has felt compelled to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family said. King Salman, 82, spent decades as part of the inner circle of the Al Saud dynasty, which long ruled by consensus. In four decades as governor of Riyadh, he earned a reputation as a royal enforcer who punished princes who were out of line.
Meshal Saad al-Bostani, a 31-year-old lieutenant in the Saudi Royal Air Force, is believed to have died in a ‘suspicious car accident’ in the Saudi capital Riyadh, sources told the Turkish Yeni Safak – the one that earlier covered the shocking details of the murder. A still taken from a Turkish police CCTV video, released by the Sabah newspaper, identified Bostani as he passed through Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on October 2.