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4 Saudi Khashoggi Killers Had Paramilitary Training in US: NYT
To mark the one-year anniversary of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, Project on Middle East Democracy and 12 other human rights and press freedom organizations held a public event on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 26, 2019. (April Brady/Project on Middle East Democracy)

4 Saudi Khashoggi Killers Had Paramilitary Training in US: NYT

Four Saudis who participated in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 had received paramilitary training in the United States a year earlier, the New York Times reported Tuesday evening. The contract for the training provided the Arkansas-based security company Tier 1 Group, which is owned by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, was approved by the State Department, the newspaper reported, citing documents and people familiar with the arrangement.  The training was defensive and designed to protect Saudi leaders, according to the report.

The State Department, which is responsible for vetting the foreign forces trained on US soil, would not comment on the Times’ report.

Louis Bremer, a senior executive of Cerberus, Tier 1 Group’s parent company, confirmed his company’s role in the training last year in written answers to questions from lawmakers as part of his nomination for a top Pentagon job during the Trump administration. His nomination was withdrawn, and the lawmakers did not see the answers. Bremer told the Times that the training was “protective in nature” and “unrelated to their subsequent heinous acts.”

Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018, to collect documents for his upcoming marriage. He was strangled shortly after he entered the consulate and his body was dismembered and disposed of. After a secretive trial in Saudi Arabia, five Saudis were sentenced to death and three sentenced to prison terms for Khashoggi’s murder. The death sentences were later commuted.

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