The CIA has made their conclusion regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They believe that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered his killing inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul last month, according to The Washington Post on Friday.
The agency has great confidence in their findings. The CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence in reaching its conclusion, including a phone call between the crown prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman and Khashoggi.
Khalid, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., is the one who reportedly told Khashoggi that he should go to the country’s consulate in Istanbul to get documents for his marriage to a Turkish woman. The Saudi ambassador gave The Post columnist assurances that he would be safe.
Those who are familiar with the call, which was intercepted by United States intelligence, are not completely sure if Khalid knew the Khashoggi would be killed when he went to the consulate. It is clear that direction for the call came from his brother.
The Saudi government has maintained that the crown prince was not involved in Khashoggi’s death. A spokesperson for the Saudi Embassy in Washington issued a statement Friday denying that Khalid had any phone conversations with Khashoggi.
“The claims in this purported assessment is false. We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations,” the spokesperson said.
CIA Director Gina Haspel visited Turkey late last month and briefed President Trump on her investigation once returning to the U.S.
The White House announced on Thursday that it was sanctioning 17 Saudi officials in relation to the killing, including Saud al-Qahtani, a former top aide to Salman who the Treasury Department says was part of the “planning and execution” of the operation.
President Trump has seemed reluctant to impose any severe punishment on Saudi Arabia, including resisting calls to lessen or cancel an arms deal with the kingdom worth billions of dollars.