The Washington Post has revealed that the topics and wording of the late Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's articles were often directed by a former US diplomat with ties to Qatar.
According to the Washington Post, Maggie Mitchell Salem, an executive at Qatar Foundation International, “at times shaped the columns [Khashoggi] submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding him to take a harder line against the Saudi government”, confirming the existence of his close ties with parties hostile to Saudi Arabia before his death, which raises many questions.
Khashoggi was seeking to find a source of funding for a think tank whose primary objective was to monitor the performance of Arab governments in terms of rights and freedoms, the report noted, adding that he was looking for a major financier for this project.
The newspaper said that text messages were found between Khashoggi and Salem, which showed that Salem would actually take part in the formation of Khashoggi’s articles rather than just edit them.
According to report, Salem, a former US diplomat, tried to defend her relationship with Khashoggi by saying that she was motivated to assist him in seeking success in the United States due to the limitations of his English abilities.
However, the evidence shows that Salem didn’t just try to help Khashoggi linguistically, but actually steered him against Saudi Arabia, contrary to the testimony of Khashoggi's "editor" at the Washington Post, Karen Attiah, who had recruited him in the first place.