Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"You couldn't make his up," added Al Jazeera journalist Jamal Elshayyal, who posted photos of the cleaning crew's pronounced arrival.

"You couldn't make his up," added Al Jazeera journalist Jamal Elshayyal, who posted photos of the cleaning crew's pronounced arrival. (Photo: Jamal Elshayyal/Twitter)

'You Couldn't Make This Up': A Bunch of Mops, Cleaners, and Trash Bags Delivered to Saudi Consulate Ahead of Khashoggi Murder Probe

As one reporter joked, "the way to preserve the integrity of a possible crime scene and bolster confidence in the investigation is to bring in a bunch of cleaners through the front door before the detectives arrive."

Jake Johnson

What does it say about the credibility of an investigation when a cleaning crew fully equipped with boxes of chemicals, mops, trash bags, and... milk arrives at the scene of the alleged crime right before the probe begins?

"You couldn't make his up!!! Literally minutes after Saudi authorities said Turkish investigators could enter the consulate—a cleaning team arrived and entered the building."
—Jamal Elshayyal, Al Jazeera

At around the same time Saudi King Salman insisted in a Monday morning phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump that his regime had nothing to do with the disappearance and alleged murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi—a denial Trump dutifully echoed to reporters while suggesting that perhaps "rogue killers" were behind the gruesome crime—video cameras captured a team of cleaners hauling several buckets of mops, two large cases of trash bags, Dixi cleaning solution, another carton of what appears to be bleach, and two cases of Pinar milk through the front door of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.

The cleaning crew was seen entering the consulate shortly before Turkish investigators were set to arrive to carry out an "inspection" in search of additional evidence of who was behind the disappearance of Khashoggi, a frequent critic of the Saudi royal family.

If the Saudis were concerned about the optics of a well-prepared cleaning crew arriving on the scene of an alleged murder just moments before the start of an investigation that is being closely watched by the international community, they did not show it—the crew walked in the front entrance of the consulate in full view of Reuters and Associated Press cameras and journalists.

Independent reporter Borzou Daragahi joked in a tweet that "the way to preserve the integrity of a possible crime scene and bolster confidence in the investigation is to bring in a bunch of cleaners through the front door before the detectives arrive."

"You couldn't make his up," added Al Jazeera journalist Jamal Elshayyal, who posted photos of the cleaning crew's pronounced arrival on Twitter.

Shortly after the cleaning crew entered the Saudi consulate, a team of investigators arrived in an unmarked police car to begin an inspection of the building a full 13 days after Khashoggi entered to obtain marriage documents and never reemerged.

While Turkish officials have not officially stated what they believe happened to Khashoggi, they have reportedly told the U.S. that they have video and audio that suggests the journalist was tortured and murdered by a team of Saudis.

In the days following his disappearance, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have demanded answers from the Saudis, an immediate halt of U.S. arms sales to the repressive monarchy, and total withdrawal of American support for the kingdom's vicious assault on Yemen.

"I think one of the strong things that we can do is not only stop military sales, not only put sanctions on Saudi Arabia, but most importantly, get out of this terrible, terrible war in Yemen led by the Saudis," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told CNN on Sunday.

The Saudi regime, for its part, has fervently denied accusations that it had anything to do with Khashoggi's disappearance and threatened to retaliate against nations that attempt to hold the kingdom accountable.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Biden Decries 'Outrageous' Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

"I'm glad to see President Biden speak out about the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers. But his administration's use of Title 42 to deny them the right to make an asylum claim is a much bigger issue."

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Peace Activists Warn of Dangers of US-Led Anti-China Pacts

"No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars," anti-war campaigners from over a dozen nations write in a letter decrying the new AUKUS agreement. "Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate."

Brett Wilkins ·


PG&E Charged With 11 Felony Counts—Including Manslaughter—Over 2020 Zogg Fire

"PG&E has a history with a repeated pattern of causing wildfires that is not getting better," said Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett. "It's only getting worse."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Hold My Pearls': Debbie Dingell Lets Marjorie Taylor Green Have It Over Abortion Rights

The Michigan Democrat engaged in a verbal altercation with the far-right Republican lawmaker from Georgia on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Jon Queally ·


Dems Who Opposed Pentagon Cuts Received Nearly 4x More Donations From Weapons Makers

The latest passage of the NDAA "is particularly strong evidence that Pentagon contractors' interests easily take precedence over national security and the public interest for too many members of Congress," said one critic.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo