The Office of the Director of National Intelligence of the United States published a report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 in Istanbul, which claims that the operation to capture or kill the journalist was personally approved by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.
The intelligence service believes that his level of control over decision-making in the country is so high that such actions could not take place without the approval of the prince.
“The Crown Prince viewed Khashoggi as a threat to the kingdom and broadly supported the use of violent measures if necessary to silence him,” the report said.
It states that Saudi officials planned the operation in advance, and provides a list of 21 people whom the United States “with a high degree of confidence” suspects in the murder of Khashoggi. At the same time, the intelligence service cannot claim that the persons involved knew in advance what the final outcome of this operation would be.
Khashoggi was killed in October 2018 in Istanbul at the Saudi consulate. At first, the Saudi authorities denied his disappearance at the diplomatic mission, but after some time after the appearance of video and audio recordings, they were forced to admit that Khashoggi was killed “as a result of an argument with consular employees.” Turkish police were never able to find his body.
The Arab media put forward versions that the order to kill Khashoggi, who criticized the actions of the Saudi authorities, could have been given by the pretender to the throne in the kingdom — Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. However, the Foreign Ministry of the kingdom stated that the Crown Prince had nothing to do with this crime.