Records shed light on online harassment of Jamal Khashoggi before his killing

Washington Post

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September 7, 2020 at 6:13 p.m. EDT

A few months before he was killed, dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi witnessed an ominous change in the kind of attention he was getting from his estranged homeland.

The usual critiques of his essays on Arabic social media became harsh and personal, and occasionally threatening. Influential Saudis reviled him on Twitter as an “extremist,” a “criminal” and a “donkey,” attacks that were instantly repeated and amplified by scores of other Twitter accounts, some of them linked to Saudi officials.

“It’s the beginning of the end, Khashoggi,” read one posting in December 2017. “Every word you said against the nation is tallied and will be punished soon.”

Ten months later, Khashoggi was dead, his body hacked into pieces by Saudi operatives who lured him to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, allegedly on orders of Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful Saudi crown prince commonly known as MBS, according to a U.S. intelligence assessment. But even as criminal proceedings gather steam in Turkey, investigators elsewhere are showing renewed interest in the nonviolent attacks that preceded the journalist’s death.

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Source The Washington Post
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