Censorship

Khashoggi killing: Snowden says Israeli spyware tech may have been used to track down, kill Khashoggi

Acid traces found in Saudi consul general’s residence

Whistleblower, Edward Snowden, during a private video conference to an Israeli audience, said that software made by Israeli-based cyber security firm NSO Group Technologies may have been used to track down Saudi dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, Al Jazeera reported.

Saudi Arabia has admitted that the Saudi critic died in a premeditated murder inside its Istanbul consulate – after weeks of consistent denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance.

ALSO READ: Crimes against Journalists: Who was Jamal Khashoggi and what his killing means for press freedom

Turkish media have reported Khashoggi was killed and dismembered based on recordings from the consulate. They say he died at the hands of a 15-member assassination squad from Saudi Arabia.

Snowden said the phone of one of Khashoggi’s friends, Omar Abdulaziz – who lives in exile in Canada – had been infected with NSO’s Pegasus spyware. He said the software allowed Saudis to collect information about Khashoggi through Abdulaziz.

“The Saudis, of course, knew that Khashoggi was going to go to the consulate, as he got an appointment. But how did they know his intention and plans?”

ALSO READ: Khashoggi killing: CIA Director has seen all evidence in relation to killing, says media report

“[NSO Group] is the worst of the worst in selling these burglary tools, that are being actively used to violate the human rights of dissidents, opposition figures, activists, to some pretty bad players,” Snowden said, “but they are not alone.”

Snowden also underlined Israel’s high-tech capabilities, but warned that accepting too much government surveillance and too easily acceding to the argument that it is needed for security reasons posed serious risks.

Meanwhile, AJ, citing a source in the Turkish attorney general’s office reported that the investigative team found traces of hydrofluoric acid and other chemicals inside a well at the Saudi consul general’s home in Istanbul.

The source said the killers dissolved the journalist’s dismembered body in acid in one of the rooms at Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi’s residence.

ALSO READ:  “Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy,” say sons of killed Saudi dissident journalist Khashoggi

The residence was searched by Turkish investigators two weeks after the killing, AJ reported.

“It would appear, according to the source that during that two week period, acid was used to dispose of the dismembered body of Jamal Khashoggi,” the report stated.

 


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