Saudi Operatives Who Killed Khashoggi Received Paramilitary Training in U.S.

The training, approved by the State Department, underscores the perils of military partnerships with repressive governments.

A memorial service for the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, 2018. Four Saudis who participated in his killing received paramilitary training by an Arkansas-based contractor.Credit…Huseyin Aldemir/Reuters

Four Saudis who participated in the 2018 killing of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi received paramilitary training in the United States the previous year under a contract approved by the State Department, according to documents and people familiar with the arrangement.

Crown Prince and De Facto Saudi Leader, MBS

The instruction occurred as the secret unit responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s killing was beginning an extensive campaign of kidnapping, detention and torture of Saudi citizens ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, to crush dissent inside the kingdom.

The training was provided by the Arkansas-based security company Tier 1 Group, which is owned by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. The company says the training — including “safe marksmanship” and “countering an attack” — was defensive in nature and devised to better protect Saudi leaders. One person familiar with the training said it also included work in surveillance and close-quarters battle. (more)

Source: New York Times and The Hill