The disappearance and presumed murder of the Saudi exile Jamal Khashoggi has caused a crisis of relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to sign some papers relating to his marriage and never emerged again. Lurid accounts claim he was murdered in the consulate by a 15-strong team flown from Saudi Arabia the previous day in order to kill him.
This almost exclusively Turkish and Qatari narrative includes claims that a pathologist on this team dismembered Khashoggi’s body while he was still alive. For their part, the Saudis have maintained that Khashoggi left the consulate, and they had nothing to do with his disappearance.
Western mainstream media have mainly presented Khashoggi as a liberal journalist who opposed the regime of the purported Saudi modernizer, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS), because he wasn’t really a modernizer at all; accordingly, MBS had Khashoggi killed.
A rival analysis has been doing the rounds that Khashoggi was actually an Islamist extremist, a former friend of Osama bin Laden and an acolyte of the Muslim Brotherhood, a hater of Israel who called on all Arabs to join the “resistance” against it and who opposed M