According to documents and sources cited by New York Times, four Saudis from the group that killed Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey in 2018, had previously received military training in the United States under a contract approved by the US State Department. Training, wrote the New York Times, was provided by Tier 1 Group, a security company headquartered in Arkansas and owned by the privately held Cerberus Capital Management. Tier 1 Group said the training was defensive in nature and needed to more effectively defend Saudi leaders. A person cited by New York Times anonymously added that the training also included a part on surveillance and clashes in closed places.
The group that killed Khashoggi – in a case that later acquired great international relevance also due to the direct involvement of the powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, an ally of the West – was responsible for several other repressive actions in Saudi Arabia, ordered by the regime. . The New York Times writes that there is no evidence that American officials knew the Saudis who were receiving Tier 1 Group training were involved in repressive activities in their country. However, he stresses “the dangers of building military partnerships with repressive regimes, showing how little supervision there is over those forces. [addestrate in territorio statunitense] once you go back to their home ».