Saudi Arabia pushes Palestinians to consider nascent U.S. peace plan

The Japan Times

BEIRUT/RIYADH/AMMAN โ€“ Saudi Arabia pulled no punches when it condemned President Donald Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But Palestinian officials say Riyadh has also been working for weeks behind the scenes to press them to support a nascent U.S. peace plan.


Gulf Cooperation Council arms race: Who sells to whom

Al Jazeera

The global trade in weapons is booming, with sales to the Middle East surging. Amid regional instability, an arms race is under way among Arab Gulf countries. The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait - have spent billions of dollars on weapons this year alone. Here's a look at the recent deals made. So far in 2018, Saudi Arabia has allocated over $3bn to arms deals.


Pro-Isis hackers break into US government websites leaving chilling messages for Donald Trump

The Independent - Tech

Isis supporting hackers broke into US government websites and issued chilling warnings to Donald Trump. It is just the latest pro-Isis attack to be launched on government pages by a group that apparently seek to disrupt organisations and deface their websites. "You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries," read one message, posted on Ohio governor and unsuccessful presidential candidate John Kasich's website. The message, left by "Team System DZ", ended: "I love the Islamic state." US President Donald Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud being welcomed at Murabba Palace in Riyadh US President Donald Trump adjusts the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal, after it was bestowed upon him by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presents U.S. President Donald Trump with the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia US President Donald Trump looks on as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef exchange a memorandum of understanding US President Donald Trump holds a bilateral meeting with Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Israeli soldiers rest during preparations ahead of President Trump's landing in Tel Aviv, Israel US President Donald J. Trump and his wife, US First Lady Melania Trump are welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, in Lod outside Tel Aviv, Israel US First Lady Melania Trump chats wife Sara Netanyahu as US President Donald Trump chats to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a welcoming ceremony to welcome Trump at Ben Gurion International Airport US President Donald Trump watches as First Lady Melania Trump signs the guest book at the President's Residence in Jerusalem US President Donald Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump in Jerusalem's Old City US President Donald Trump stands next to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz at the plaza in front of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City US President Donald J. Trump arrives in a vehicle to Saint Damaso's Court for a private audience with Pope Francis in Vatican City The group has claimed responsibility for similar hacks in the past in Richland County, Wisconsin, and in places such as Aberdeen, Scotland, and Sweden.


Turkish police search Saudi hit squad-linked villas in Jamal Khashoggi murder probe

The Japan Times

ANKARA โ€“ Police searched a mansion in northwestern Turkey belonging to a Saudi citizen on Monday after investigators determined that the man had been in contact with one of the suspects in the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish officials said. Crime scene investigators and other officials, aided by sniffer dogs and a drone, scoured the luxury villa near the town of Termal, in Yalova province, and later expanded their search to the grounds of the neighboring villa, the state-run Anadolu agency reported. Police spent around 10 hours searching the two villas for the journalist's remains, Anadolu reported, without saying if any evidence or trace had been found. The Istanbul prosecutor's office said Mansour Othman Abbahussain -- a member of a 15-person squad sent from Riyadh to kill Khashoggi -- had contacted the mansion's owner, Mohammed Ahmed Alfaozan, by telephone a day before Khashoggi's Oct. 2 killing. "It is being assessed that this conversation was geared toward the disposal (or) the hiding of Jamal Khashoggi's body after its dismemberment," the prosecutor's statement read.


Saudi prince attempts to rebuild image on first overseas trip since murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The Japan Times

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES โ€“ Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's first trip abroad since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi will offer an early indication of the repercussions he faces from the gruesome slaying. The prince is visiting close allies in the Middle East before attending the Group of 20 summit in Argentina on Nov. 30, where he will come face to face with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has defended U.S. ties with the kingdom, as well as European leaders and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has kept pressure mounting on Riyadh since Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. "It's really going to be about can you travel to the rest of Western capitals for the foreseeable future and expect to sort of shake people's hands, and I'm not sure that that's the case," said H.A. Hellyer, a scholar at the Royal United Services Institute and Atlantic Council. The trip, aimed at rebuilding his image and reinforcing ties with allies, promises to offer a contrast to the prince's lengthy tour across the United States in April, where he met Michael Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch, Disney chief Bob Iger, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Apple's Tim Cook and former President George H.W. Bush, among many others. "There's no way he could do that sort of trip right now," Hellyer said. The crown prince's plan to attend the G20 summit in Buenos Aires "tells me that he feels that he's ridden out the storm, or that in order for him to ride out the storm this is exactly what he needs to do."