US intelligence officials have “high confidence” in a CIA report concluding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) ordered journalist Jamal Khashoggi ’s assassination.
Rabat- The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has cast doubt on Saudi Arabia’s denial that MBS was involved in Khashoggi’s murder.
Several intelligence sources prompted the CIA to reach its conclusion, including a recorded phone call between MBS’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, and Khashoggi.
According to the Washington Post, Khalid bin Salman told Khashoggi that he should retrieve documents he needed from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, assuring him that he would be safe.
The US officials vouching for the CIA conclusion said that there is “no way” that MBS, who is aware of minor affairs and movements in his country, would not have been aware of or involved in the murder.
Despite fingers pointing at MBS as the mastermind behind Khashoggi’s murder, Saudi Arabia has continued to deny its crown prince’s involvement in the Khashoggi case.
Khashoggi, a Saudi contributor to the Washington Post at the time of his death and a permanent resident of the US, was killed on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish investigators have put forward the theory that Khashoggi’s remains were dissolved in acid and poured down the drain of the Saudi consulate shortly after he was killed by a 15 man hit-squad flown in from Riyadh.
On Friday, Mecca and Medina held funeral prayers in absentia for Khashoggi, after Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, called for a worldwide funeral for Khashoggi.
According to Islamic law, burying the dead is a collective obligation. If the community of Muslims does not carry out this duty, they are burdened with collective sin.