MbS aide Saud Al-Qahtani threatened Jamal Khashoggi's son with unemployment months before journalist's murder

MbS aide Saud Al-Qahtani threatened Jamal Khashoggi's son with unemployment months before journalist's murder
Mohammed bin Salman's top aide threatened Jamal Khashoggi's son with unemployment six months before the assasination.
2 min read
06 July, 2020
Saud al-Qahtani oversaw Khashoggi's assassination [Getty]
Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was threatened by an official close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman six months before his assassination.

According to Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, Khashoggi was threatened by MbS' right-hand man Saud al-Qahtani, saying that his son would lose his job in the UAE if Jamal continued to write critically about the ruler.

The threat was made six months before he was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018.

"If writing and speech continue at the rate you're currently writing, your son Salah will lose his work in Dubai," Al-Qahtani texted Khashoggi on April 2018.

The report added that the US-based journalist tempered his criticisms of the Saudi regime at the time, despite being angry at the demand. 

"How bad are these people? Could they get any worse?" he asked a close friend at the time.

Despite his compliance, Khashoggi's son was still fired from his post. 

Dubbed Saudi Arabia's Steve Bannon, Al-Qahtani was responsible for finding Riyadh's "online enemies" and coming up with a list of potential targets for Saudi intelligence.

He, along other aides to Mohammed bin Salman, were fired from their positions when it was revealed they were closely involved in orchestrating Khashoggi's killing.

Read also: Turkey trial of Khashoggi Saudi murder suspects postponed to November 

In 2017 Al-Qahtani called for a McCarthy-like blacklist to be compiled by Twitter users of Saudis who had displayed sympathy for regional rival Qatar. Under the Arabic hashtag #TheBlacklist, he sinisterly vowed to "follow" every name reported on this list.

Al-Qahtani also tweeted that anyone who "conspires" against Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain - countries taking part in the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar - would go on "trial".

He also personally oversaw the torture of at least one detained female activist in 2018, according to human right monitors.

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