The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has sparked controversy and the spread of media rumors across the world, including the doubtful information from Turkish sources and wrongful accusations against the Saudi General Consul’s son in Istanbul.
According to US media expert Patrick Poole, American media has been just as involved in reporting leaks from multiple unreliable sources.
Poole noted that Yahoo News published an article Friday quoting Khaled Saffuri, one of Khashoggi’s associates, that said President Trump's criticism of journalists may have inspired the Crown Prince to have Khashoggi "murdered."
The Daily Beast also quoted Saffuri discussing Khashoggi’s efforts to gain freedom of expression, a plan Saffuri said the journalist knew “was going to put him in danger.”
Saffuri was the deputy and chief lobbyist of Abdulrahman Alamoudi in the American Muslim Council, who is currently serving a 17-year sentence for ties to the Libyan and al-Qaeda plot.
Saffuri’s ties to terror financing, which were reported on after the 9/11 attacks, have not been mentioned in any of the articles where he spoke about Khashoggi.
Some media’s incessant reporting of Saudi Arabia’s presumed involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, based on speculations and questionable information gathered from sources with ties to terror groups, will undoubtedly hinder the investigation rather than resolve the mystery of the Saudi journalist’s disappearance.
Saudi officials have adamantly stated that the kingdom is not involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance and that there is no evidence to support reports of his death.
Saudi officials have also repeatedly called on the media to await the results of the probe and to refrain from rumor-fueled reporting.