Saudi writer Khashoggi: Human rights fighter or radical Islamist?

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who disappeared after entering the Saudi embassy in Turkey is being hailed as an advocate for human rights and freedom of expression. But was he in fact an anti-Israel radical Islamist?

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

The world is up in arms about the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who entered his country’s consulate in Istanbul earlier this month to obtain papers for his upcoming marriage and has since not been seen.

But who is Jamal Khashoggi?

Business Insider reports that Khashoggi – a U.S. resident and contributor to The Washington Post  divided his time between London, Istanbul and Virginia – and “was at one point an adviser to senior officials in the Saudi government. He worked for top news outlets in his native country and was close to the ruling elite there.

But last year Khashoggi had a falling out with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “Since that time, the reporter has been quite critical of the government and the prince,” Business Insider reports, adding that Khashoggi reportedly told colleagues that he feared for his life.

Time Magazine’s Karl Vick maintains that Khashoggi “advocated for human rights and free speech, the universal rights that have always been under threat in Saudi Arabia, but far more so since the rise of Mohammed bin Salman as its dictator, who took the criticism personally.”

Bin Laden’s pal

Daniel Greenfield, in a Frontpage Mag article, takes a radically different view on what he terms “the terrorist truth behind the media lies,” labeling the missing writer as a “Muslim Brotherhood pal of Osama bin Laden.”

According to Greenfield, Khashoggi once reminisced about his high school years with the infamous Islamic terrorist, saying, “We were hoping to establish an Islamic state anywhere. We believed that the first one would lead to another, and that would have a domino effect which could reverse the history of mankind.”

Greenfield says Khashoggi followed bin Laden to Afghanistan and credited Adel Batterjee, once listed by the U.S. Treasury Department as one of “the world’s foremost terrorist financiers,” with bringing him in as a war correspondent.

“The media calls Khashoggi a journalist, but his writings from 1980s Afghanistan read as jihadist propaganda with titles like, ‘Arab Mujahadeen in Afghanistan II: Exemplifies the Unity of Islamic Ummah,’” Greenfield writes.

Greenfield reveals that after Afghanistan, Khashoggi worked as a media adviser for former Saudi intelligence boss Prince Turki bin Faisal, who also allegedly had ties with Al Qaeda.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Khashoggi wrote that the Saudis would not “give in” to American “demands.”

“Saudis tend to link the ugliness of what happened in New York and Washington with what has happened and continues to happen in Palestine. It is time that the United States comes to understand the effect of its foreign policy and the consequences of that policy,” Greenfield quotes Khashoggi as saying.

Opposing positive reports on Israel?

In one of his Al Jazeera appearances, Greenfield adds, Khashoggi lamented that the Saudi government was allowing journalists to report positively on Israel.

“That’s the real Khashoggi, a cynical and manipulative apologist for Islamic terrorism, not the mythical martyred dissident whose disappearance the media has spent the worst part of a week raving about,” Greenfield asserts.

“Media spin describes Khashoggi as a dissident. And he certainly was that. But so was Osama bin Laden,” Greenfield writes.