The New York Times reported on Saturday that 15 men in Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service were responsible for at least $100 million worth of “terror” in Yemen in a quest to destabilize the country and destroy Saudi ally President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. The men carried out a series of highly daring attacks including the bombing of a gas plant and the shooting down of a Yemeni government warplane. The attack on the warplane was carried out in April 2015 by an advanced stealth Emirati warplane. The Emiratis have since been the target of at least 40 U.S. airstrikes.
“The Emiratis were like … zombies running around,” said the Saudi official, Ahmed al-Kawari, recalling a conversation with Emirati officials while he was working at the Saudi embassy in Washington in late 2014. He said they told him that if he could find a Yemeni director of the Yemeni intelligence service “and I can bug him with microphones and I can record everything, I could leak them every single detail of his conversations.”
Most, however, were covertly working for Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributor, who had done freelance reporting for the newspaper. When he was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October last year, many suspected that Khashoggi had been kidnapped.