CIA thinks Saudi prince ordered Khashoggi killing — reports | News | DW | 17.11.2018
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CIA thinks Saudi prince ordered Khashoggi killing — reports

According to a US media report, the CIA has high confidence that the order to kill Jamal Khashoggi came from the highest level. The CIA reportedly linked members of the hit squad directly to the prince.

The US Central Intelligence Agency believes Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman directly ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey last month, Khashoggi's former employer The Washington Post reported on Friday.

The CIA reportedly has high confidence in its assessment, which contradicts the official Saudi line that a rogue group was behind the killing.

The report was confirmed by Reuters news agency and The New York Times, which both cited unnamed sources. Reuters said the CIA had briefed other government departments on its findings.

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The report could throw a spanner in the works for the Trump administration's attempts to ease political pressure on their ally against Iran.

Read more: US denies it will extradite Erdogan foe Fethullah Gulen to reduce heat on Saudis

US Vice President Mike Pence said there would be consequences for Khashoggi's murderers but declined to comment on the intelligence agency's assessment.

"The United States is determined to hold all of those accountable who are responsible for that murder," he told journalists on the sidelines of an APEC summit in Papua New Guinea.

According to The Washington Post, the CIA examined multiple sources to reach its conclusions, including audio recorded inside the consulate and shared by Turkey, as well as an intercepted phone call from the Saudi ambassador (also the prince's brother) to Khashoggi during which he encouraged him to visit the Istanbul consulate.

The ambassador has vigorously denied he made such a call.

CIA analysts were reportedly able to link members of the hit squad directly to the crown prince.

nm, aw/ng (AP, Reuters)

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