UAE ex-police chief's crazy new claim: Khashoggi is hiding
Dubai's former police chief has made the outrageous claim that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is hiding in Qatar, amid a growing disinformation campaign designed to deflect growing pressure on Riyadh.
Dhahi Khalfan - a figure well-known for his bizarre partisan commentary - made the baseless allegations in a series of tweets on Saturday.
"One of the most important possibilities is that Khashoggi arrived in Doha on a Qatari businessman's plane using a fake Qatari passport," Khalfan said.
"The...Qataris are obviously involved in the efforts to defame Saudi Arabia and the accusations Khashoggi was murdered,"
The former official then called for the state of Qatar to be "cancelled" and for the emirate to be incorporated within Saudi Arabia.
Social media users quickly ridiculed Khalfan's comments, which come amid a misinformation campaign by media in Saudi Arabia and its ally the UAE to obfuscate the fate of Khashoggi.
Saudi-funded outlets have claimed the 15 Saudi intelligence officers who arrived in Istanbul on the day the journalist went missing were tourists visiting the Turkish city for "hair transplants", according to a report by The New York Times.
They have accused Turkish and Qatari media of exploiting the affair and attempted to poke holes in the growing number of reports implicating Riyadh of abducting and possibly killing the journalist.
Pro-Saudi Twitter trolls have also spread fabricated reports that a Qatari journalist "mysteriously disappeared" in Doha.
In an interview with pro-Saudi Al-Arabiya this week, Khalfan boastfully claimed he could solve the Khashoggi case in 72 hours.
Khashoggi, who whose writings have been critical of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, failed to reappear after walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and lurid claims have been leaked to media that he was tortured and even dismembered.
Khalfan has often made inflammatory comments against regional rival Qatar, since the start of the Saudi-led blockade of Doha.
He has said Doha is leading a global conspiracy to destroy the Arab world and called for the bombing of Qatar-based Al-Jazeera.