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Saudi Operatives Involved in Jamal Khashoggi Killing Trained by Firm Based near Memphis - The Constantine Report
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Saudi Operatives Involved in Jamal Khashoggi Killing Trained by Firm Based near Memphis

By Dima Amro
Memphis Commercial Appeal, June 23, 2021
Four Saudis involved in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi received paramilitary training by a firm headquartered in Arkansas that boasts a large training complex near Memphis, according to a report by the New York Times.
Crawfordsville, Arkansas-based security company Tier 1 Group provided training for four Saudi operatives who participated in Khashoggi’s 2018 killing, the Times reported Tuesday.
The report does not describe where the training occurred but Tier 1 Group’s website lists the 777-acre Memphis Training Complex as the firm’s only facility, which is about 21-miles from Downtown Memphis.
During the Obama administration, the State Department approved a license to Tier 1 Group, owned by Cerberus Capital Management, for the paramilitary training of the Saudi Royal Guard beginning in 2014 and continued until at least 2016, the first year of former President Donald Trump’s term, according to the report.
Louis Bremer, a Cerberus senior executive, confirmed the company’s role in the Saudis’ training in written answers to lawmakers for his nomination for a top Pentagon job during the Trump administration, but pulled out of running before lawmakers received the answers, the New York Times reported.
The document obtained by The New York Times showed that in 2017 members of the Khashoggi kill team acquired Tier 1 Group training and two of the four participated in a previous training from October 2014 until January 2015.

Bremer said a review by Tier 1 Group in March 2019 found no wrongdoings by the company and the Saudis’ training was unrelated to Khashoggi’s murder.  All foreign personnel trained by T1G are cleared by the U.S. government for entry into the United States before commencement of training,” Bremer said.
He said after December 2017 no further trainings of Saudis were conducted by the company.
Attempts made by The Commercial Appeal to reach someone for comment at Tier 1 Group and Cerberus Capital Management were unsuccessful.
The Tier 1 Group website lists a number of clients the company supports and trains including the United States Military, Air Force, Department of State, “specialty units that do not require recognition” and “international allied forces.”
Tier 1 Group first trained U.S. military personnel but as military budgets shrank the company began training other clients, and by 2014 it trained foreign military units like the Saudi operatives, according to the report.
Khashoggi was killed in October 2018 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul where he was picking up documents related to his marriage. He was found later dismembered by a bone saw.
The Central Intelligence Agency concluded in 2018 that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s assassination.
Dima Amro covers the suburbs and can be reached at Dima.Amro@commercialappeal.com.

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