The CIA has joined Turkey in accusing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of ordering the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The assertion that the Crown Prince — known as MBS — was indeed responsible for the death of Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi is in direct contradiction with the Saudi government’s claims.
More than a dozen Saudi officials have been arrested in connection with the murder, a handful are facing the death penalty, and the monarchy has named a senior intelligence official as the leader of the hit-team.
Audio footage in which one of the murderers can be heard saying “Tell your boss,” and “The deed is done,” had already suggested a connection to MBS, but the CIA apparently intercepted a phone call between the Crown Prince’s brother, Khalid bin Salman, and Khashoggi.
Khalid bin Salman is the Saudi ambassador to the United States.
According to anonymous individuals quoted in the Washington Post, it was Khalid bin Salman who suggested that Khashoggi travel to Istanbul and assured him he would be safe.
Khashoggi was seeking documents to allow him to marry his fiancée.
According to the Post’s article, Khalid made the call at his brother’s direction.
“The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without [MBS] being aware or involved.” — anonymous U.S. official
The Saudi’s story has shifted multiple times, beginning with Khashoggi dying in a fist fight to “rogue operatives” before finally admitting his murder.
Through it all, the Saudi regime has shielded its crown prince.
The president, whose son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, is close friends with MBS, has also refrained from placing the blame on his shoulders.
He has also resisted calls to cut off U.S. military support for the Saudi regime’s war in Yemen, in which a child now dies every 10 minutes.
The president has defended his decisions by citing the amount of money Saudi Arabia spends with the United States.
He has, however, apparently grown frustrated with the inability of Saudi officials to identify where Khashoggi’s body is.
That being said, on Saturday, the president said that the CIA’s report implicating MBS was “premature.”
“They haven’t accessed anything yet — it’s too early. That was a very premature report. But that’s possible. We’re gonna see.” — Trump
Iron Triangle Press continues to follow Khashoggi’s story.