Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was behind the murder of the journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi. He has approved and probably ordered the murder, is the conclusion of a report from the US intelligence agencies that has been released.
Over the past few days it had become clear that the report would appear and the media already reported that this would be the most important conclusion. The report mentions the names of 21 people who are likely to be responsible for or complicit in his death. Whether they all knew beforehand that the operation would end in the death of Khashoggi is not certain.
The conclusion that Bin Salman is behind the assassination plan is based, among other things, on the dominant position of the Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia and the involvement of one of his top advisors and others in his immediate vicinity. It is also reported that Bin Salman has more often supported violence to silence dissidents.
Since 2017, the Crown Prince had absolute control over the security and intelligence services in the country, states in the report. “That makes it highly unlikely that Saudi officials would carry out such an operation without authorization from the Crown Prince.”
The report also talks about the culture of fear in the country: those who do not perform duties well are in danger of being arrested or dismissed. “As a result, employees are unlikely to question Bin Salmans assignments or do sensitive things without his approval.”
As a sanction, the United States imposed 76 Saudi travel restrictions. “We do not tolerate the threat or attack of activists, dissidents or journalists,” said Foreign Minister Blinken.
Significant ally of US
Jamal Khashoggi (59) was a critic of the Saudi regime. He wrote for The Washington Post, among others. He was killed in 2018 at the Saudi Consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul. His body was never found. The murder led to a lot of international turmoil.
The intelligence report could jeopardise the good relations between the US and Saudi Arabia. The last few days, therefore, operated on cautiously by the Americans. Yesterday, the new American President Biden called the Saudi King Salman. Afterwards, Biden called the country an important ally. The two countries have been working together for decades against Irans influence in the Middle East.
After the report was released, Khashoggis fiancé, Hatice Cengiz, tweeted a photo of her late partner with written #justiceforjamal