Intelligence report on Jamal Khashoggi's murder released

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 6:14 p.m. ET, February 26, 2021
3 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:23 p.m. ET, February 26, 2021

What you need to know about Khashoggi's 2018 murder

Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama, on December 15, 2014.
Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama, on December 15, 2014. Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

The US just released an intelligence report about the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and a Washington Post columnist. Khashoggi was critical of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies.

He was killed and allegedly dismembered on Oct. 2, 2018, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by men with close ties to the highest levels of the Saudi government and bin Salman.

Shortly after Khashoggi's killing, the CIA assessed with high confidence that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman had personally ordered the murder. In June 2019, a United Nations investigator found that it was "inconceivable" the royal heir hadn't been aware of the operation. 

Then-President Trump, however, refused to condemn the Saudi prince, even after it became clear that Saudi Arabia's initial claims that Khashoggi's killing was a rogue operation were baseless. Instead, Trump dismissed intelligence that the prince had had a hand in the killing, saying that "maybe he did, maybe he didn't," and stressing that billions of dollars in US arms sales to Saudi Arabia weren't worth sacrificing over the matter.

1:17 p.m. ET, February 26, 2021

US intel report finds Saudi Crown Prince responsible for approving Khashoggi operation

From CNN's Jeremy Herb

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman  Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom Council/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images/FILE

The US intelligence report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi says that that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was responsible, saying he approved the operation to capture or kill Khashoggi.

“We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the reports executive summary states. 

“We base this assessment on the Crown Prince's control of decisionmaking in the Kingdom, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of Muhammad bin Salman's protective detail in the operation, and the Crown Prince's support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi,” the report says.

 

1:11 p.m. ET, February 26, 2021

The US intelligence report on Khashoggi's murder was just released

The US intelligence community just released a long-awaited report with new public details about those behind the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Not long after the Saudi journalist was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the CIA assessed with high confidence that Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, had personally ordered the killing, but intelligence officials never spoke publicly or presented evidence.

A United Nations investigator found in June 2019 it was "inconceivable" that MBS wasn't aware of the operation.