Hanabusa Questions if U.S. Intelligence Knew of Khashoggi Plot

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Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa and her colleagues sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, asking what the U.S. intelligence community knew about the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia’s plan to kidnap and kill Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi and when did they know it.

“As you are aware, Intelligence Community Directive 191, issued in 2015, specifies the duty of the U.S. intelligence community to warn both U.S. and non-U.S. persons of threats of serious bodily injury, kidnapping, and intentional killing,” wrote the members. “Any U. S. intelligence ‘element that collects or acquires credible and specific information indicating an impending threat’ of those actions ‘shall have a duty to warn the intended victim or those responsible for protecting the intended victim, as appropriate’.”

“Given that your office oversees the U.S. intelligence community’s duty-to-warn process, we seek urgent answers as to whether Mr. Khashoggi was in fact contacted about the credible threat to his life and liberty posed by the Saudi plot to capture him; the precise date on which any arm of the U.S. intelligence community first became aware of the Saudi plan to detain Mr. Khashoggi; and whether the intelligence community will declassify portions of U.S. intercepts of Saudi officials relevant to Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance,” the members wrote. “Considering the profound ramifications of this potential crime, U.S. foreknowledge of Saudi plans to detain Mr. Khashoggi, and whether the U.S. intelligence community carried out its duty to warn, we intend to use the full force of Congressional oversight and investigatory powers to obtain these answers should they not be forthcoming.”


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