CIA officials are convinced that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Kashoggi in Istanbul, last month, regardless of the Saudi government’s claims to the contrary, according to The Washington Post.
The contributor to The Washington Post, Khashoggi, and also a U.S. resident was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. The Saudi writer is thought to have been killed immediately he entered the building. It is believed his body was dismembered and disposed of.
The CIA reportedly studied multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call made to Khashoggi from the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States.
Sources said that Khalid told Khashoggi to go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to recover some documents, promising him that he would be safe.
Though it’s not clear if Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, but he did make the call at his brother’s direction, and it was intercepted by U.S. intelligence.
Khalid bin Salman denied the allegation via Twitter soon after the Post published its article.
He Proved further
A CIA official opened up to The Wall Street Journal on Friday that the agency concluded that the Crown Prince ordered the killing not on “smoking gun” evidence but rather on “an understanding of how Saudi Arabia works.”
“This would not and could not have happened” without Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement, the official said.
On Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor announced it would seek the death Penalty for five of 11 suspects, even though Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish leader Recep said the killing was ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.
Khashoggi was once close to the Saudi Royal family but had grown increasingly critical of human rights abuses in the kingdom and was living in Washington, D.C. Although the kingdom considered him a “dissident,” he never wanted the label, according to a tweet posted last month by fellow Washington Post writer Karen Attiah.