Saudi crown prince approved operation to kill exiled scribe

Washington, Feb 27: Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation to “capture or kill” exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey, according to a declassified US intelligence report released by the Biden administration on the grisly murder of the leading dissident in 2018.
Fifty-nine-year-old Khashoggi, who lived in the US as a legal permanent resident and wrote for The Washington Post, was critical of the prince’s policies and was killed by operatives linked to the crown prince in the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
His body was dismembered, and his remains have never been found. Riyadh eventually admitted that Khashoggi was mistakenly killed in what it called a rogue operation but denied the crown prince’s involvement.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said in the report submitted to Congress that at the time of the Khashoggi murder, the prince probably fostered an environment in which aides were afraid that failure to complete assigned tasks might result in him firing or arresting them.
This suggests that the aides were unlikely to question the prince’s orders or undertake sensitive actions without his consent, said the report dated February 11.”We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey, to capture or kill Saudi journalist Khashoggi,” it said.
The ODNI said it bases the assessment on the prince’s control of decision making in the Saudi Kingdom, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of prince Muhammed’s protective detail in the operation and his support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi. (PTI)

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