ISTANBUL — Two Gulfstream jets carrying 15 Saudis landed at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport before dawn on the day last week that journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate and vanished. The men checked into hotels and left Turkey later that night.

Turkish media, which released surveillance camera video of the men on Wednesday, said they were members of an elite Saudi “assassination squad,” sent to kill Khashoggi, a Saudi critic.

Saudi Arabia remained silent at the accusation as the images were seen around the world, raising pressure on the kingdom to explain what happened to the writer, a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Adding to the macabre mystery, a Turkish official told The Associated Press that one member of the team in the Oct. 2 video was an “autopsy expert.”

Saudi Arabia has dismissed allegations it played a role in Khashoggi’s disappearance as “baseless,” but it has offered no evidence to support its contention he left the consulate unharmed last week and vanished into Istanbul while his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, waited outside.

The video, shown on the state-run broadcaster TRT and others, did not offer definitive proof about Khashoggi’s fate. Turkish officials have said that they fear the team killed him.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner have spoken to the crown prince about the 59-year-old Washington Post contributor, the White House announced.

President Trump said the U.S. is “demanding” answers from its close ally, but he did not disclose any details.

“It’s a very serious situation for us and this White House,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “We do not like seeing what’s going on. Now, as you know, they’re saying ‘We had nothing to do with it.’ But so far everyone’s saying they had nothing to do with it.”

Trump added: “Nobody knows what happened yet.”

Some media alleged that the Saudi Consulate’s 28 local staff were given the day off Oct. 2 because a “diplomats’ meeting” would be held there on that day.

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