A report by New York Times revealed that four of the Saudi operatives who murdered dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi received paramilitary training in the US.
The training was part of the contract approved by the State Department a year before Khashoggi’s murder, the NYT said.
The report pointed out that the men received the training from the Arkansas-based security company Tier 1 Group, which is owned by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.
However, the company said the training included “safe marksmanship” and “countering an attack”, as it was intended for the protection of Saudi leaders.
In response to the NYT report, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said under the law the department cannot comment “on any of the licensed defence export licensing activity alleged in media reporting”.
Price also said US policy towards Saudi Arabia “will prioritise the rule of law and respect for human rights”.
Last year, a lawsuit was filed against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accusing him of the kidnap, drugging, torture, and assassination of the US resident.
Earlier last week, an investigatory report by Yahoo News revealed that the chief of Egyptian intelligence is involved in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The report said a Saudi plane carrying a team of assassins stopped in Cairo (October 2018) to pick up illicit drugs that were used to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), a rights group founded by Khashoggi, stressed the urgent need for a congressional investigation into the report.