CIA: Khashoggi killing ordered by Saudi crown prince

By Meryem Goktas

ANKARA (AA) – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the CIA concluded, according to the Washington Post.

The newspaper cited four anonymous sources.

"The CIA’s assessment, in which officials have said they have high confidence, is the most definitive to date linking Mohammed [bin Salman] to the operation and complicates the Trump administration's efforts to preserve its relationship with a close ally," the Post wrote.

According to the article, the CIA reached its conclusion by examining multiple intelligence sources, including a telephone call between the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and the prince's brother, Khalid bin Salman, with Khashoggi.

Anonymous sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said Khalid told Khashoggi he should go to Saudi's Istanbul Consulate for documents he needed to get married, assuring him it would be safe.

"It is not clear if Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, but he made the call at his brother’s direction, according to the people familiar with the call, which was intercepted by U.S. intelligence," the Post wrote.

Khashoggi, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After weeks of denying any involvement in the crime, Saudi Arabia later admitted that Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of any plot to murder the journalist.