On November 16th, the CIA concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered dissident Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, according to unnamed officials cited by the Washington Post.
According to the unnamed senior US official the conclusion is based on a recording provided by the Turkish government and other evidence, including American intelligence.
Earlier, on November 12th, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, became the first western leader to confirm Turkish claims that an audio recording of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder exists and has been passed to intelligence agencies.
CIA Investigators also believe the operation couldn’t have taken place without bin Salman’s knowledge given his control of the government, the senior US official said.
CNN cited a Saudi Embassy spokeswoman who said in a statement that “the claims in this purported assessment are false. We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations.”
A spokesman for the CIA declined to comment to the Post. The Saudi government has denied bin Salman’s involvement in Khashoggi’s death.
There has been reasonable speculation that MbS, did order the killing, however the Trump administration and other Saudi allies have refused to see it.
It is still unlikely that any tangible actions will be undertaken to sanction the Kingdom’s misconduct. It is yet to be seen if the newly proposed bill to embargo arms sales to Saudi Arabia will pass in the Congress.