Tags: jamal khashoggi | saudi arabia | cnn | whatsapp | messages

CNN: Chilling Messages From Khashoggi May Be Clues To His Killing

file photo dated 06/12/04 of jamal khashoggi, the saudi journalist who was killed in turkey.

(Press Association via AP)

By    |   Sunday, 02 December 2018 03:12 PM

A year before Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s grisly slaying, he wrote about his deep distrust of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a chilling collection of private messages sent to a fellow Saudi exile, CNN reported.

In more than 400 WhatsApp messages to Montreal-based activist Omar Abdulaziz, Khashoggi described bin Salman as a "beast," and a "pac-man" who’d devour everything in his past, including his supporters, reported CNN, which said it had been given exclusive access to the stunning exchanges.

"The more victims he eats, the more he wants," Khashoggi says in one message sent in May after a group of Saudi activists were rounded up. "I will not be surprised if the oppression will reach even those who are cheering him on."

"[Jamal] believed that MBS is the issue, is the problem and he said this kid should be stopped," Abdulaziz told CNN.

But Khashoggi seemed to fear for his own future in August — two months before his killing — after he believed his messages had been intercepted, writing Abdudlaziz: “God help us.”

Abdulaziz is part of a lawsuit against an Israeli company that invented the software he believes was used to hack his phone, CNN reported. 

"The hacking of my phone played a major role in what happened to Jamal, I am really sorry to say," Abdelaziz told CNN. "The guilt is killing me."

In almost daily exchanges between October 2017 and August 2018, Khashoggi and Abdulaziz came up with plans to form an electronic army to engage young Saudis back home and debunk state propaganda on social media, CNN reported. It was dubbed “cyber bees,” the news outlet reported.

In one exchange, dated May this year, Abdulaziz writes to Khashoggi. "I sent you some ideas about the electronic army. By email."

"Brilliant report," Khashoggi replies. "I will try to sort out the money. We have to do something."

In another exchange, Khashoggi writes of Mohammed: "He loves force, oppression and needs to show them off, but tyranny has no logic."

That kind of talk could be considered treasonous in Saudi Arabia, CNN reported. In a sign Khashoggi and Abdulaziz were aware of their tenuous security in exile, they switched between phone calls, voice messages and chats on WhatsApp and other encrypted platforms like Telegram and Signal, CNN reported

Last May, Abdulaziz said two Saudi government emissaries asked to meet with him in Montreal. He agreed, saying he secretly recorded 10 hours of their conversations, CNN reported.

Eerily, the men mention Saud al Qathani, Mohammed's powerful social media enforcer -- fired and under investigation in Saudi Arabia amid claims by Turkey that he was the mastermind of Khashoggi's murder.

"If Saud al Qathani himself hears your name, he will immediately know and you can meet with Prince Mohammed directly," says one man.

Then they recommend Abdulaziz visit the Saudi embassy to pick up some paperwork.

Abdelaziz says Khashoggi's advice possibly saved his life.

“He told me not to go and only to meet them in public places,” he told CNN.

On Oct. 2, Khashoggi did the opposite, heading to the Saudi consulate in Turkey and never emerging. It was also the last time he checked his WhatsApp messages, CNN reported.

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A year before Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's grisly slaying, he wrote about his deep distrust of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a chilling collection of private messages sent to a fellow Saudi exile, CNN reported.
jamal khashoggi, saudi arabia, cnn, whatsapp, messages
Sunday, 02 December 2018 03:12 PM
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