Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Approved Killing of Jamal Khashoggi: US Report

The US intelligence report said that MBS “approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”


Washington DC| The United States government on Friday declassified a report on the killing of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report points fingers at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The report could brew fresh trouble between the US and its oil exporter ally Saudi Arabia.

The report declassified on Friday by the Biden administration says that the plan to assassinate the Saudi journalist and critic was approved by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The report also stated that the Crown Prince considered Khashoggi a threat to Saudi Arabia.

Also Read: Khashoggi murder: Will Saudi Arabia’s isolation continue?

The intelligence report said that MBS “approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.” It also said given the influence of the Saudi Crown prince it was highly unlikely that the murder could have taken place without his “green light”. The killing also fit a pattern of “the crown prince’s support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad.”

Khashoggi was killed in October 2018

Khashoggi was assassinated on 2nd October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The Washington Post journalist was a US resident. According to reports, he was lured to Istanbul, Turkey where he was killed at the Saudi consulate. His body has not been recovered yet. Some reports claim that he was cut into pieces.

US Slaps Sanctions On 76 Saudi Individuals

In honour of Jamal Khashoggi, the US has introduced what it calls the “Khashoggi Ban”. Under this, sanctions have been slapped against 76 Saudi individuals, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced. The US says it will single out anyone who, acting for a foreign government, engages in ‚Äúcounter-dissident activities‚ÄĚ beyond that country‚Äôs borders.

As part of the plan, the United States has imposed a visa ban on some Saudis believed involved in the Khashoggi killing and placed sanctions on others, including a former deputy intelligence chief, that would freeze their US assets and generally bar Americans from dealing with them.

Trouble In US-Saudi relations

If Prince Salman is accused of the murder of Biden Administration Khashoggi, it is certain that relations between the most powerful and rich country of the Middle East will deteriorate with America. One reason for this is that King Salman is 85 years old and the power is actually in the hands of Prince Salman. It is certain that Biden must have discussed the murder of Khashoggi and the case involving Prince Salman in a conversation with the Saudi King. However, the White House is calling it a normal conversation.

The Iran Factor

Iran is the biggest threat to America, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel. Now, if the Biden administration annoys the Saudi government, it may have to bear the brunt of it. The US cannot move forward without Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. It also has countless interests and military bases there. The United States is also considering all aspects and that’s why Biden, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken spoke to the Saudi Administration.

Since Prince Salman is indirectly holding Saudi power, if the United States takes any step against him, it can have serious consequences.

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