The Saudi Crown Prince supported the operation to eliminate Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by capturing or killing him. The most powerful man in Saudi Arabia saw the murdered critic of the regime as a threat to the kingdom, according to Friday released findings of the US Secret Service. The White House wants to punish 76 people involved with, for example, an entry ban, but not the crown prince himself.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the plans that eventually led to the murder of Khashoggi, according to the intelligence service‘s assessment. It is “extremely unlikely” that Saudi officials carried out such an operation without authorization from the Crown Prince, since since 2017 he has “absolute control” over all operations related to security and intelligence services, the report states.
Khashoggi disappeared during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, where he was lured there and, it is believed, was murdered by a special command. The Americans are talking about 21 people who were most likely somehow involved in the murder of Khashoggi, including the 15-headed command team.
The report has long been kept secret by the highly explosive content. The Crown Prince is considered the most powerful man in the oil-rich state, and Saudi Arabia is the most important Arab ally of the United States. Under President Trump, relations were warm but shady. His successor Biden indicated earlier that he was going to revise the relationship with Saudi Arabia and make it “more transparent”.
Biden made a telephone call to Saudi king Salman on Thursday and would have emphasized the importance of human rights. It is not known whether he raised the Khashoggi report at that time.
A former advisor to the Saudi Crown Prince and an elite unit of the royal family have been put on a list of sanctions. This is the former deputy chief of the secret service Ahmed al-Asiri and the RAF Rapid Intervention Force.
Hatice Cengiz, Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée, believes justice was done by the American report. Cengiz responded via Twitter with” #justiceforjamal.” She had seen her future husband enter the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul at the beginning of the afternoon to prepare some papers for their marriage. Khashoggi, including the Washington Post columnist, did not return. He turned out to be murdered and cut to pieces.