The New York Times confirmed that the team that carried out the well-planned murder and dismemberment of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi received paramilitary training from a private security company called the Tier 1 Group, which is owned by New York private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. The confirms earlier suspicions raised in The Washington Post about Tier 1's role in training Khashoggi's killers.
Cerberus advertises itself as a "global leader in alternative investing." Former Vice President Dan Quayle is Chairman of Cerberus Global Investments and a member of Cerberus's senior leadership team.
From The New York Times:
The training was provided by the Arkansas-based security company Tier 1 Group, which is owned by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. The company says the training — including "safe marksmanship" and "countering an attack" — was defensive in nature and devised to better protect Saudi leaders. One person familiar with the training said it also included work in surveillance and close-quarters battle.
There is no evidence that the American officials who approved the training or Tier 1 Group executives knew that the Saudis were involved in the crackdown inside Saudi Arabia. But the fact that the government approved high-level military training for operatives who went on to carry out the grisly killing of a journalist shows how intensely intertwined the United States has become with an autocratic nation even as its agents committed horrific human rights abuses.
It also underscores the perils of military partnerships with repressive governments and demonstrates how little oversight exists for those forces after they return home.