Saudi prince was in constant touch with Khashoggi hit-squad boss: WSJ report

Published December 2, 2018
WSJ reports that  that the CIA has “medium-to-high confidence” that Prince Mohammed “personally targeted” Khashoggi and “probably ordered his death”. —Dawn.com
WSJ reports that that the CIA has “medium-to-high confidence” that Prince Mohammed “personally targeted” Khashoggi and “probably ordered his death”. —Dawn.com

In the hours leading up to journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal killing, Saudi Arabia's crown prince sent at least 11 messages to his closest advisor who was charged with overseeing the murder, the Wall Street Journal said Saturday quoting a CIA assessment.

Mohammed bin Salman also told associates in August last year that if he failed to persuade Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia, “we could possibly lure him outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements” — a communication the Central Intelligence Agency said “seems to foreshadow the Saudi operation launched against Khashoggi.”

The Journal said it had reviewed excerpts of the highly classified intelligence document, which relied on electronic intercepts and other clandestine information.

Khashoggi, a trenchant critic of the crown prince who relocated to Virginia and wrote op-eds for the Washington Post, was killed by Saudi operatives inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate on October 2, triggering global condemnation.

Explore: ‘This has not been business as usual in my country’: excerpts from Saudi journalist Khashoggi’s writings

After initially denying the murder, Saudi Arabia acknowledged some liability but blamed his death on a “rogue” operation.

The Journal reported in November that the CIA had concluded Prince Mohammed had likely personally ordered the killing.

President Donald Trump, who has been accused of covering for the Saudi leadership, appeared to challenge that assessment about the prince, saying “maybe he did, maybe he didn't.”

The newspaper said that excerpts of the assessment it had not previously reported state that the CIA has “medium-to-high confidence” that Prince Mohammed “personally targeted” Khashoggi and “probably ordered his death” — but added: “To be clear, we lack direct reporting of the Crown Prince issuing a kill order.”

The electronic messages were said to have been sent by Prince Mohammed to Saud al-Qahtani, who supervised the 15-man team that killed Khashoggi, the paper said.

The contents of the messages weren't known, it added, citing the assessment, which also did not reveal the format of electronic communication.

Opinion

Blurred boundaries
Updated 10 May 2021

Blurred boundaries

Karachi’s administration and provincial agencies have taken measures that hit the urban poor on a continuous basis.
Sequencing IMF reforms
10 May 2021

Sequencing IMF reforms

It is clear that the revival of and rise in economic growth is becoming a concept alien to the IMF.
‘Darlings of the court’
09 May 2021

‘Darlings of the court’

The public deserves to see and learn from the process by which Justice Isa won after having nearly lost.

Editorial

10 May 2021

Safe havens

THE pull-out of foreign forces from Afghanistan has security ramifications for that country as well as neighbouring...
10 May 2021

Important bills

AT last, there is some movement on critical legislation that appeared to have been put on the back-burner. The...
Al Aqsa clashes
Updated 10 May 2021

Al Aqsa clashes

US policy remains wedded to blind support for the Jewish state.
Updated 09 May 2021

Sharif mission aborted

THE government is in no mood to let PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif leave the country. The opposition leader was...
09 May 2021

Amazon opportunity

THE decision by global e-commerce giant Amazon to add Pakistan to its sellers’ list is expected to unleash ...
09 May 2021

PCB’s parental policy

THE Pakistan Cricket Board’s announcement of its parental support policy earlier this week is praiseworthy, for...