US Intercepts Showed Saudis Plotting to Capture Journalist

Saudi officials had been trying to lure him into returning from exile

According to US officials, intercepts from Saudi Arabia revealed a plot against journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who is now missing and presumed dead.after going to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

The intercepts showed that the government plotted to try to lure Khasoggi into returning to Saudi Arabia, after having fled into exile. Once he was back, they’d detain him for his criticism of the crown prince.

The first stab at this involved Saudi officials connected to the crown prince contacting Khashoggi to offer him a high-ranking government job, promising that all was forgiven and that they would protect him from prosecution.

Khashoggi hadn’t been fooled, however, as his friends say that he confided in them about the offer, and did not believe that they would keep their promises if they got hold of him back in the Saudi kingdom.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.