A US intelligence report has found that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the murder of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. This could further strain U.S.-Saudi relations as the White House reassesses ties with Riyadh.
The report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, released Friday, cited the crown prince’s control of decision-making in Saudi Arabia as well as the involvement of a key advisor and members of the prince’s protective detail in the operation that killed Khashoggi, a critic of the royal family. Also Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken imposed visa restrictions on 76 Saudi individuals whom are “believed to have been engaged in threatening dissidents overseas, including but not limited to the Khashoggi killing.” Khashoggi was killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and his body cut up.
Crown Prince Mohammed, who is effectively the kingdom’s ruler, has denied any role in the murder. The crown prince is the son of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and is considered to be the effective ruler of the kingdom.