Who is Hatice Cengiz? Jamal Khashoggi's fiancée 'devastated' after learning Mohammed bin Salman approved killing

The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a newly declassified report, 'We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi'


                            Who is Hatice Cengiz? Jamal Khashoggi's fiancée 'devastated' after learning Mohammed bin Salman approved killing
Hatice Cengiz talks about the death of her fiance Jamal Khashoggi (Getty Images)

According to a newly declassified U.S. intelligence report, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Muhammed bin Salman, approved the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The recent findings could escalate pressure on President Joe Biden’s administration to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for a murder that drew heavy criticism in the U.S. and abroad.

The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in the report, “We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

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The U.S. intelligence further based its assessment on the crown prince’s control of decision making, the direct involvement of one of his key advisers, and his own protective detail. The report further read, “Since 2017, the Crown Prince has had absolute control of the Kingdom’s security and intelligence organizations, making it highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince’s authorization.” 

In 2019, Prince Muhammed bin Salman said he took “full responsibility” for the killing since it happened on his watch but maintained that he did not order it. Saudi officials have said that Khashoggi’s killing was the work of rogue Saudi security and intelligence officials. As per Reuters, Riyadh has denied any involvement by the crown prince.

People take part in a candlelight vigil to remember journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate (Getty Images)

The U.S. officials have further stated that Biden’s administration will announce sanctions and visa bans on Friday targeting Saudi Arabian citizens over the Khashoggi killing. However, it will not impose any sanctions on the crown prince.

Who is Hatice Cengiz?

Cengiz, 41, was born on April 6, 1980. She is a Turkish Ph.D. student based in Istanbul, Turkey. She met Khashoggi in May 2018 at a conference. The couple soon started seeing each other. The journalist had to legally separate from his first wife to marry Cengiz, he went to the Saudi embassy to collect the divorce papers on October 2, 2018.

As per reports, Cengiz accompanied him to the consulate entrance and waited for more than 10 hours outside the consulate, and returned the following morning when Khashoggi had still not reappeared.

Hatice Cengiz (Getty Images)

“He will never come back”

Right after the news surfaced that an unclassified intelligence report targets Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman over the death of the Washington Post journalist, Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz told CNN that she is “devasted than ever before.”

Hatice said: “Now I believe he will never come back. I just looked at Jamal’s picture that I took one-by-one… I don’t know what I want to say.”



 

In addition to this, several have taken to Twitter to express their heartfelt emotions. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken tweeted, "The murder of journalist and U.S. lawful permanent resident Jamal Khashoggi shocked the world. Starting today, we will have a new global policy bearing his name to impose visa restrictions on those who engage in extraterritorial attacks on journalists or activists." Rep. Adam Schiff tweeted, "For two years, we pushed for the truth to be made public: The highest levels of the Saudi government, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, are responsible for the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi. There must be accountability, and we will continue to press for it." Washington Post's Karen Attiah tweeted, "Please take the time to read Jamal Khashoggi's work for @washingtonpost. His last column before his murder was an imagination of a world--- in which people could throw off the shackles of oppression-- and be free. This is the world we must fight for." Another user tweeted, "We always knew that Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the grisly bone-saw killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and today the Biden Administration releases a report that confirms it. NICE to have a President who doesn't support that s**t."



 



 



 



 

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