US report to single out Saudi Crown Prince over Khashoggi murder

Declassified version of US intelligence report to state that Saudi Crown Prince approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Mohammed Bin Salman
Mohammed Bin Salman

A declassified version of a US intelligence report expected to be released on Thursday will state that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, four US officials familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The officials said the report, for which the CIA was the main contributor, assessed that the Crown Prince approved and likely ordered the murder of Khashoggi, whose Washington Post column had criticized the crown prince’s policies.

Khashoggi was killed and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

Saudi Arabia has admitted that Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, after initially denying Turkish claims that he was murdered.

US President Joe Biden told reporters on Wednesday he had read the report and expected to speak soon by phone with Saudi Arabian King Salman, 85, father of the Crown Prince, the country's 35-year-old de facto ruler.

The report's release is part of Biden's policy to realign ties with Riyadh. Former President Donald Trump was friendlier with the Saudis.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that Biden would only communicate with the Saudi king and said the declassified Khashoggi report was being readied for release soon.

Khashoggi’s murder resulted in tensions between lawmakers and the White House. Trump had reaffirmed his support for Saudi Arabia, despite the murder of Khashoggi, insisting the US-Saudi Arabian alliance is beneficial not only for American interests, but also for those of Israel.

Lawmakers from both parties, meanwhile, had called for a strong US response to Khashoggi's murder.