Now an unclassified US investigation report concluded Saudi Crown Prince’s involvement in the killing of Khashoggi in 2018.
US intelligence report bases the allegations on the Crown Prince’s control of decision-making.
Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated by a Saudi hit squad operating under the command of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), United States intelligence agencies concluded.
Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post newspaper who had been critical of the Saudi government was viewed as a grave threat to the Kingdom.
The US intelligence agencies based its conclusion that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince approved the operation because of his “control of decision making in the Kingdom” and the “direct involvement of a key adviser and members or Mohammed bin Salman’s protective detail in the operation”.
Furthermore, US intelligence cited MBS’s “support for violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi”.
The four-page report names 21 individuals who participated in or were otherwise complicit in Khashoggi’s death.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded in a statement that the Saudi government “completely rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the Kingdom’s leadership, and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions.”
When asked about the Saudi denial of the report’s findings, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Washington “the report speaks for itself” and the Biden administration is “trying to bring transparency to this issue and share with the American people what we know”.
White House officials said the Biden administration would announce actions taken in response to the killing of Khashoggi after the report was released.
The report’s publication is likely to foster calls from US politicians for sanctions on Saudi officials and a tougher approach to US-Saudi relations.