The United States on Friday declassified an explosive intelligence report that found that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a US-based writer whose death provoked outrage.
In a partially redacted two-year-old report released by President Joe Biden’s administration, US intelligence concluded that the prince “approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”
“Since 2017, the crown prince has had absolute control of the kingdom’s security and intelligence operations, making it highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the crown prince’s authorization,” it said.
The report named a 15-member Saudi squad that went to Istanbul and said it had “high confidence” that they participated in the killing, although it said it was unclear if they knew the operation would result in Khashoggi’s death.
“The crown prince views Khashoggi as a threat to the kingdom and broadly supported using violent measures if necessary to silence him,” it said.
Khashoggi, who wrote critically of the prince in The Washington Post, was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to complete marriage paperwork.
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