Unnamed US officials are reporting that the CIA has concluded their assessment of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and has high confidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman ordered the murder.
The assessment has not been made public yet, but those familiar with it say that a phone call intercepted by the US points to the crown prince having made the original order. They also say the prince is so heavily involved in ruling Saudi Arabia that it is unthinkable he wouldn’t be involved.
The phone call in question was between the prince’s brother, Khalid bin Salman, and Khashoggi. Khalid was the one who convinced Khashoggi to go to the Istanbul consulate for the papers he needed for his wedding, assuring him that it would be safe. He was captured and killed inside the consulate.
Officials say the assessment does not conclude that Khalid knew he was leading Khashoggi to his death, but that he made that call at his brother, the crown prince’s behest. The CIA further concluded that the crown prince’s future is not in doubt, and that he will be future king, irrespective of the murder, is “taken for granted.”