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US Report confirms Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in Khashoggi murder

3 min read

Kashish Jain

A Saudi Hit squad killed Jamal Khashoggi. The hit squad was operating under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) command and US intelligence agencies confirmed.

Unclassified US intelligence report released recently confirms that Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler played a role in the 2018 killing of a Saudi journalist. Saudi officials have vehemently denied that MBS had any role in the assassination. 

The Former US President Trump’s administration held back the long-anticipated report despite a 2019 law passed by Congress that required its release.

The US intelligence agency has based its observations and has concluded that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince approved the observation because of the extent of his control over the decision-making in the Kingdom and the direct involvement of a key adviser. The report also claims that members of MBS’s protective detail were also involved in said operation.

Khashoggi was slain inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. He was a columnist for the Washington Post and had been critical of the Saudi government.

In 2017, the Crown Prince had a lot of control over the Kingdom’s security and intelligence organizations. This fact makes it highly plausible that his involvement was present in the operation. The 4-page report contains the names of 21 individuals who were involved in some way or the other it also said that MBS viewed Khashoggi as a massive threat.

The Saudi Ministry of foreign affairs disagrees with the details of the report and expressed this disagreement in the following statement-

“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.”

The Statement also expressed its displeasure at the issuance of the report and called its conclusions unjustified and inaccurate. It made sure to include the denunciation of the crime and the fact that the Kingdom’s leadership took necessary steps to ensure the prevention of such tragedies.

Representative Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee stated in the US Congress that the MBS has blood on his hands. He stated-

“The Biden Administration should explore ways to ensure the repercussions for the brutal murder of Mr. Khashoggi go beyond those who carried it out, to the one who ordered it — the Crown Prince himself. He has blood on his hands and that blood belonged to an American resident and journalist,”

Rights groups and UN experts have repeatedly called for MBS to be held responsible for the Journalist’s murder. The UN’s special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings stated in 2019 that the Crown Prince should face sanctions and have his assets frozen especially while his role in the killing is investigated.

However, no action to this effect was executed. In fact, after the murder of the journalist, the Trump administration has stood by MBS and Saudi Arabia, which is one of the US’s top Middle East allies. He had also failed to act after the US Senate adopted a resolution that held the Crown prince responsible in 2018.