Quantcast
Connect with us

CIA concludes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman behind Khashoggi murder: reports

Published

on

The US Central Intelligence Agency has concluded Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US media reported Friday, citing people close to the matter.

The US assessment directly contradicts the conclusions of a Saudi prosecutor one day prior, which exonerated the prince of involvement in the brutal murder.

ADVERTISEMENT

But The Washington Post, which broke the story, said the CIA found that 15 Saudi agents flew on government aircraft to Istanbul and assassinated Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate.

Queried by AFP, the CIA declined to comment.

Khashoggi, a Post columnist, had gone to the consulate to obtain documents necessary to marry his Turkish fiancee.

Saudi Arabia — which quickly dismissed the reported CIA findings — has repeatedly changed its official narrative of the October 2 murder, first denying any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts and later saying he was killed when an argument degenerated into a fistfight.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the latest version presented by the Saudi prosecutor on Thursday, a 15-member squad was formed to bring Khashoggi back from Istanbul “by means of persuasion” — but instead ended up killing the journalist and dismembering his body in a “rogue” operation.

The CIA examined multiple intelligence sources, the Post said, among them a phone call between the prince’s brother — the Saudi ambassador to the United States — and Khashoggi.

The ambassador reportedly told the late journalist that he would be safe to go to the consulate in Istanbul and get the papers he needed.

ADVERTISEMENT

– ‘Some things you can’t do’ –

But a Saudi embassy spokesperson said that Ambassador Khalid bin Salman had never discussed “anything related to going to Turkey” with Khashoggi.

“Amb Prince Khalid bin Salman has never had any phone conversations with (Khashoggi),” the statement posted on the ambassador’s Twitter account said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The claims in this purported assessment is false,” it said.

The US intelligence agency also said in determining the crown prince’s role it considered him a “de facto ruler” of Saudi Arabia: “The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved,” the Post quoted an official as saying.

That official dubbed Prince Mohammed a “good technocrat” — but also someone unpredictable who “goes from zero to 60, doesn’t seem to understand that there are some things you can’t do.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The New York Times later reported that the CIA findings were also based on calls from the kill team to one of the crown prince’s senior aides.

But the paper said that while the intercepts showed Prince Mohammed was working to lure Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia, the crown prince had not said in the calls that he wanted Khashoggi killed.

The Times cited officials as saying US and Turkish intelligence so far have not found direct evidence connecting the prince to Khashoggi’s killing.

Following the reports, US Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday said Washington “is determined to hold all of those accountable who are responsible for that murder.”

ADVERTISEMENT

On the sidelines of an APEC summit in Papua New Guinea, Pence described the Saudi journalist’s killing as an “atrocity” and an “affront to a free and independent press” but declined to comment on classified information.

The CIA conclusions threaten to further fray relations between Washington and longtime ally Riyadh, which has sought to end discussion of the murder and rejected calls for an international investigation.

“We are going to follow the facts,” said Pence.

But he added the US wanted to find a way of preserving a “strong and historic partnership” with Saudi Arabia.

ADVERTISEMENT

On Thursday, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on 17 people, including close aides of Prince Mohammed, suggesting a coordinated effort between Riyadh and Washington to pre-empt the threat of harsher actions from an outraged US Congress.

US President Donald Trump has shied away from directly blaming the Crown Prince but on Friday agreed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that “any cover up of the incident should not be allowed.”

burs-mdo/ska/it/dcr


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Beto O’Rourke looks to reactivate suburban strength in Texas to help Democrats win

Published

on

The photo line for Beto O’Rourke here Saturday afternoon quickly turned into something of a reunion.

“Hey, I know who you are!" a characteristically sweat-drenched O'Rourke told one supporter. After talking to another, O'Rourke yelled out to an aide: "Hey, someone who worked on the campaign wants to be plugged in again!"

The vibe was similar a day later in Plano, where O'Rourke rallied in front of signs reading, "Welcome to Beto Country," serving up nostalgia from his near-miss loss to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz last year. He said the Senate race was the "only reason" he got to run for president, touting the support he built in Collin, Denton, Tarrant and Dallas counties before getting drowned out by cheers.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Corey Lewandowski may use Judiciary Committee hearing to launch New Hampshire Senate run

Published

on

Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski will appear before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday to answer questions about incidents outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller's report. But he may use the appearance as a way to launch his New Hampshire Senate run.

Axios reported Sunday that the former top aide to President Donald Trump is eager for a fiery exchange between him and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and other Democrats.

“Corey will use [the hearing] as part of the campaign. He will be confrontational to the Democrats. He will be totally loyal to Trump. And he will be playing to the right-wing of the party who need to unite behind him in a primary," said former New Hampshire Attorney General Thomas Rath.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

General Motors auto workers call strike in US

Published

on

The United Auto Workers union called a nationwide strike against General Motors Sunday, with some 46,000 members set to walk off the job beginning at midnight amid an impasse in contract talks.

The decision, which the Wall Street Journal described as the first major stoppage at GM in more than a decade, came a day after the manufacturer's four-year contract with workers expired without an agreement on a replacement.

Local union leaders met in Detroit "and opted to strike at midnight on Sunday," the UAW said on its Twitter account.

"This is our last resort," Terry Dittes, the union's lead negotiator with GM, told a news conference after the meeting. "We are standing up for the fundamental rights of working people in this country."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image