Journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance forces President Donald Trump's hand on Saudi Arabia

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But now the Daily Mail reports it's been told by a source close to the Saudi royal family Mr Khashoggi was taken from the consulate in a black Mercedes S-500 and a white minivan with four Saudi officials to Istanbul airport.

A video obtained by The Washington Post on Wednesday purports to lay out movements of the 15-man Saudi team that Turkish authorities suspect of carrying out the abduction or killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last week.

Khashoggi was once a Saudi newspaper editor and is a familiar face on political talk shows on Arab satellite television networks.

"Saudi authorities said they were open to cooperation and that a search can be conducted at the consulate building", the ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

But Vice-President Mike Pence on Monday (Oct 8) declared himself "deeply troubled" by allegations that Mr Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent opinion writer living in the U.S. and contributor to The Washington Post, was killed after he entered the Saudi consulate - saying it would be tragic if true.

Fears are growing over the fate of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Turkish officials said they believe he was murdered inside the Saudi consulate.

Although Khashoggi first entered the Saudi consulate a week ago, the Trump administration had remained relatively silent until Monday when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Riyadh to "support a thorough investigation" into Khashoggi's disappearance and be "transparent about the results".

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis - while saying the Pentagon was monitoring the situation in Turkey - also underscored the necessity of United States military support for "the protection of the Saudi people".

"Deeply troubled to hear reports about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi". The consulate insists Khashoggi left its premises, contradicting Turkish officials. Why don't you prove it?

Later on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that US intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi, citing a source familiar with the situation.

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Saudi officials said he left shortly afterwards but his fiancee, who was waiting outside, said he never came out. They, however, offered no specific evidence to back up their claim.

Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid Bin Salman has responded to what he termed as "grim and malicious" rumors over the investigation surrounding the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, 59, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate through the main entrance on October 2.

Turkish investigators have hinted they know more about the disappearance than they have disclosed.

Saudi Arabia is a longtime ally of the United States, but on Monday senior USA officials expressed alarm over Khashoggi's disappearance.

Erdogan said "mere words [of Saudi officials] are not enough evidence". I don't like hearing about it. "And hopefully that will sort itself out", Trump said. "Right now, nobody knows anything about it, but there's some pretty bad stories going around".

Margaux Ewen, the executive director of Reporters Without Borders North America, said she was encouraged that Trump expressed concern but wished his statements had been stronger.

Saudi Arabia, naturally, has denied any involvement.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., attacked Trump today over his cozy relationship with Riyadh, which he argues enabled Khashoggi's alleged murder along with other exactions by Saudi Arabia.

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