Color me skeptical.
According to a Sabah Gazetesi report, [Jamal] Khashoggi recorded what is believed to be audio evidence of his death inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey more than a week ago. Sabah Washington correspondent Ragip Soylu posted a screenshot of the story to Twitter on Friday.
In its report, Sabah claims Khashoggi recorded questioning by a “hit squad.” A copy of the audio file was synced with Khashoggi’s iPhone, which was in the possession of fiancee Hatice Cengiz. Cengiz was waiting outside the consulate during the alleged exchange, assumedly within Bluetooth range of the Apple Watch in question.
My take: While there are plenty of third-party Apple Watch recording apps (I checked), this is pretty far-fetched. To me, it sounds more like a cover story concocted to protect signal intelligence sources. [Two days later, what was an out-of-the-mainstream take has become conventional wisdom. See for example CNBC, Mashable and 9to5Mac.]
UPDATE: TechCrunch’s Zack Whittaker on Thursday posted the enhanced photo below of Khashoggi wearing an Apple Watch Series 3 in Istanbul last May. But according to Whittaker’s report, the third-generation Apple Watch does not support cellular connections in Turkey, effectively ruling out any chance that his data synced either with his iPhone outside or Apple’s servers.
Click to enlarge. (Image: Al Sharq Forum/Twitter)