Four members of the commando that killed Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 have received paramilitary training in the United States. This is reported by The New York Times. The government approved the training.
Regime-critic Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist and lived in the United States. On October 2, 2018, he was assassinated in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a commando of agents from Saudi Arabia.
According to The New York Times, four of those agents received training from the private security group Tier 1 Group. The Obama administration licensed the group in 2014 for the training, which ran at least until the start of Donald Trump’s presidency in 2017.
The newspaper relies on a document that a senior manager of the group’s parent company, investment fund Cerberus, passed on to the Trump administration. That happened when a parliamentary committee heard him about a job within the Ministry of Defence.
The CEO stated that Tier 1 Group did provide training to the Saudi agents, but that it revolved around protection and was “not linked to the heinous acts they later carried out”. The training took place in 2017, and two of the agents already participated in the first version between October 2014 and January 2015.
The State Department declined to comment on the news but called for “responsible use of military equipment and training.” “This administration is investigating appropriate responses when violations occur,” spokesman Ned Price said.