New public report back to blame Saudi crown prince for 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi

Biden’s government will release an intelligence report on Thursday concluding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, three US officials familiar with the matter said.

The intelligence rating, based largely on the work of the CIA, isn’t new – NBC News was among the organizations that confirmed it in 2018.

However, the release will mark a significant new chapter in US-Saudi Arabia relations and a marked break by President Joe Biden with former President Donald Trump’s policy of the Saudi state’s role in a brutal murder committed by members of the Congress was largely condemned, not clearly defined. Journalists and a UN investigator.

Reuters first reported on the released news summary, which is due to be released on Thursday.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that Biden would be more likely to communicate with the Saudi king than with his son, the crown prince. She said the released report would be released soon.

The president confirmed to reporters late Wednesday that he had read the report.

It remains to be seen how the release of the report will affect US-Saudi Arabia relations. Biden officials have worked with the Saudis since taking office, according to the State Department.

Khashoggi, 59, was a Saudi citizen who was working as a columnist for the Washington Post when he was lured to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018 and killed by a team of intelligence officials closely linked to the Crown Prince. His body was partially dismembered with a bone saw, American officials said, and the remains have never been found.

After initially denying the murder, the Saudi government changed course, claiming Khashoggi was accidentally killed when the team tried to extradite him. The Saudis say the team acted alone and that the Crown Prince was not involved.

Eight men were convicted in what international observers called a farce. Five received the death penalty. Their sentences were commuted to 20 years after allegedly forgiven by Khashoggi’s relatives.

Jamal Khashoggi during a press conference in Bahrain in 2014.Mohammed Al-Shaikh / AFP-Getty Images File

Agnes Callamard, who investigated the killing for the United Nations, accused Saudi Arabia of “premeditated, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law.”

The CIA presented its assessment to the White House in 2018, but did not appear to change Trump’s friendly relations with Saudi Arabia, and bin Salman in particular.

Trump boasted in 2019 that he had saved bin Salman from congressional scrutiny in recorded interviews with journalist Bob Woodward.

“I saved his ass,” said Trump. “I could get Congress to leave it alone. I could get them to stop.”

“Do you think he did it?” Woodward asked.

“No, he says he didn’t,” Trump replied.

During the 2020 election campaign, Biden promised to get the Saudis to “pay the price and actually make them the pariah they are”.

Biden has ended American support for the Saudi Arabia war in Yemen, but has made no effort to end military aid to a key Middle East ally and counter-terrorism partner.

“The president’s intention, like the intention of this administration, is to recalibrate our engagement in Saudi Arabia,” said Psaki on Wednesday.

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