BREAKING: US Intel Report Concludes Saudi Crown Prince MBS Approved Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally approved the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a long-awaited intelligence report released Friday.
“We assess that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the three-page report said.
The 59-year-old Virginia resident was killed and dismembered when he entered a Saudi consulate in Turkey in 2018 seeking a marriage license. Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, also known as MBS, has long denied any involvement with the operation.
The report suggested the intelligence community’s conclusion stemmed from information that had already been widely known. “We base this assessment on the Crown Prince’s control of decision-making in the kingdom since 2017, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of Mohammad bin Salman’s protective detail in the operation, and the Crown Prince’s support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi,” the report said. “Since 2017, the Crown Prince has had absolute control of the kingdom’s security and intelligence organizations, making it highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince’s authorization.”
Congress passed a law in 2019 that required the director of national intelligence to release the names of the men the intelligence community believed were behind the attack within 30 days. However, that report was blocked by the Trump administration as it sought to maintain diplomatic ties with the country. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, confirmed to her post by the Senate in January, pledged to release the report when she was pressed on the issue by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) during her confirmation hearings.
President Joe Biden held his first call with Saudi Arabia’s 85-year-old King Salman, bin Salman’s father, on Thursday. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a Tuesday press conference that the White House was seeking to “recalibrate” its relationship with the country.
“Let me first say that we’ve been clear at every level that our intention is to recalibrate the relationship, and this will be a different relationship with the Saudi government,” Psaki said. “At the same time, we of course we want to end the war in Yemen, we want to ensure that humanitarian crisis is addressed and the president and every member of our team is not going to hold back in voicing concern, and taking action as needed.”
She added that “any actions” responsive to the intelligence community’s assessment would be announced after the report had been released.
Watch above via CNN.
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