US Intelligence Report Blames Saudi Crown Prince for Dissident Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Murder

    27-Feb-2021   
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The US intelligence report blamed Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for the murder of Saudi origin dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.
 
The part of the intelligence report was declassified by the US government Friday.
 
Jamal Khashoggi, a US-based journalist of Saudi origin, was hacked to death on October 2, 2018, in Istanbul. He was a columnist with The Washington Post at the time. In his columns, he was very critical of Crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
 
Upon investigation, it was found that he was seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect his papers. But, no evidence was found of him exiting the consulate.
 
The investigation has revealed that of the 15 members of the team which killed the dissident journalist, seven belonged to the Rapid Intervention Force, a special unit tasked with protecting the Crown Prince.
 
Khashoggi was in the consulate to collect the papers for his marriage with his fiancee Hatice Cengiz. The investigation revealed the Saudi officials had set an elaborate plan to lure him to the consulate.
 
This is the first time the US government has made a part of the intelligence report public. The details of the gruesome murder have been withheld.
 
Based on the report, the US administration has taken action against many Saudi officials who it believes had taken part in the operation. They have been put under a travel ban and their assets and bank accounts have been frozen.
 
But, the Biden administration has refrained from taking any direct action against the Crown Prince. The administration believed any direct action against the Crown Prince may damage the US-Saudi relations beyond repair.