U.S. intelligence intercepted Saudi Arabian officials discussing a plan ordered by the crown prince to lure journalist Jamal Khashoggi from the United States back to Saudi Arabia, where he would be detained, U.S. officials told The Washington Post on Wednesday.
Khashoggi went missing last week after he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to pick up a document he needed to get married. Turkish officials are adamant that Khashoggi, a columnist for the Post, was killed inside the consulate by a Saudi hit squad. Saudi Arabia has denied any wrongdoing and says he left the consulate on his own.
Khashoggi, who lived in Virginia as a U.S. resident applying for citizenship, was critical of his homeland, but friends say he did not oppose all of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies. Friends told the Post that several senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince contacted Khashoggi and told him they wanted him to take a job in the government. He was skeptical, and did not believe they'd offer him the protection they were promising.
Also on Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators urged President Trump to impose sanctions on anyone found to be connected with Khashoggi's disappearance. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is close to the crown prince.