Jamal Khashoggi's close friendship with Osama bin Laden
Jamal Khashoggi’s close friendship with Osama bin Laden: How murdered journalist built relationship with the future al-Qaeda leader while covering Mujahedeen and cried when he died
- Jamal Khashoggi was asked to cover the Afghan-Soviet war by Osama bin Laden
- Pair spent several nights together in camps and caves as he covered the conflict
- Reunited in Sudan and Khashoggi tried to persuade bin Laden to return to Saudi
- Never fully renounced ties to bin Laden and was conflicted over their friendship
- Journalist Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, October 2018
Murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a close friend of Osama bin Laden and cried when the al-Qaeda leader died, it has been revealed.
‘I just fell apart crying heartbreak to you, Abu Abdullah,’ Khashoggi tweeted hours after bin Laden was confirmed dead in May 2011.
‘You were beautiful. brave in those beautiful days in Afghanistan before you succumbed to anger and passion’, the Arabic tweet added.
The former Washington Post columnist was murdered by a team of assassins at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.
Murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a close friend of Osama bin Laden and cried when the al-Qaeda leader died, it has been revealed
Jamal Khashoggi reportedly broke down and cried when he heard Osama bin Laden (pictured, right) had been killed
A series of taped interviews between Khashoggi and fellow journalist Laurence Wight in 2005 being played for the first time on Yahoo News podcast Conspiracyland reveal the extend of the slain journalist’s relationship with bin Laden.
Khashoggi first made headlines as a young journalist when he was invited by bin Laden to cover the war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan.
His headline in Saudi outlet Arab News on May 4, 1988, read ‘Arab youths fight shoulder to shoulder with Mujaheddin’.
The piece praised bin Laden, identifying him by his nom du guerre Abu Abdullah, and applauded Arabs who had joined the fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
During these trips, Khashoggi later recalled, he spent several nights sleeping alongside bin Laden in his camps and in caves.
He described the experience as ‘moving’ and ‘beautiful’, characterising bin Laden as having ‘a sentiment of Muslims, a concept of jihad, and of being close to God.’
Khashoggi’s headline in Saudi outlet Arab News on May 4, 1988, read ‘Arab youths fight shoulder to shoulder with Mujaheddin’. The piece praised Arabs who had joined the fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan
The piece (pictured) also praised bin Laden, who Khashoggi became close with and slept next to
That bond failed to wain after the war as Khashoggi rose through the ranks of Saudi journalism and bin Laden built al-Qaeda.
The pair reunited in Sudan, where bin Laden had set up a base after being banished from his home nation.
In the three-day meeting, Khashoggi tried to persuade his friend to renounce violence on tape and return to Saudi Arabia, but bin Laden refused.
Sources from Khashoggi’s youth suggest the slain journalist may always have had sympathies with bin Laden’s hardline views, but changed later in life.
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi (pictured in Afghanistan) was invited to cover the Afghan-Soviet war by Osama bin Laden
A university peer has claimed Khashoggi encouraged him to shun Shia Muslims, whom many Sunni Muslims view as heretics, while studying journalism at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.
Omar Farooq said Khashoggi was a devout Muslim and that the pair used to pray together at Islamic Center.
Khashoggi’s views evolved as he aged, especially after the 2011 Arab Spring, but it appears the journalist never stopped seeing bin Laden as a friend.
Saudi academic and former colleague of Khashoggi Nawaf Obaid the journalist always saw bin Laden as some kind of hero for defeating the communist Soviet Union.
He said Khashoggi repeatedly defended bin Laden, refusing to associated him with the acts of terrorism perpetrated by al-Qaeda for several years.
It was not until 9/11, Obaid said, that Khashoggi started to see his former friend for the man he really was.
‘I would say he was ideologically, and I would even go as far as theologically, conflicted by him,’ he added.
Khashoggi was killed and dismembered, allegedly with a bone saw, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.
It is a case that has tarnished the reputation of de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Evidence revealed last week suggests a team of Saudi assassins flew to Cairo to collect ‘illegal’ drugs used to kill Khashoggi from their alleged Egyptian accomplices.
It is unclear what the drugs contained or who provided them at Cairo International Airport in the early hours of October 2, 2018, but it is the latest bombshell in the years-long attempt to determine how Khashoggi died.
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