CIA concludes MBS ordered Khashoggi’s assassination

TEHRAN, Nov. 17 (MNA) – The CIA has discovered that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, which directly contradicts to claims of the Saudi government, the Washington Post reported.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Post reported that the CIA arrived at the conclusion based on multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi. Khalid has told him to go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so.

The CIA’s assessment is the most definitive to date linking MBS to the operation and complicates the Trump administration’s efforts to preserve its relationship with a close ally, reads part of the report.

“The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him [Mohammad bin Salman] being aware or involved,” said a US official familiar with the CIA’s conclusions.

In addition, a phone call was made after the killing by Maher Mutreb, believed to be a member of the hit squad, to Saud Al-Qahtani, one of Mohammad bin Salman's top advisers, to inform him the operation had been done. The CIA obtained a recording of that call.

The Saudi government has characterized Khashoggi's death as a rogue operation and detained 21 suspects, charging 11 of them.

MAH/PR

News Code 139677

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