The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi was ordered by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, contradicting the story promoted by Saudi Arabia and US President Donald Trump.
Jamal khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian journalist that went missing on October 2nd, 2018 after he entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and never left the consulate again. Saudi Arabia initially said that he left the consulate from a back door and later claimed that he died by accident during a fist fight. but the same-day arrival of a 15-person team including someone carrying a bone saw has pointed towards a darker reality.
Who was Jamal khashoggi? What did he write about? And why was he killed?
Khashoggi worked in journalism for over thirty years a columnist, and general manager and editor-in-chief for a number of newspapers in Saudi Arabia including Okaz, Al Madina and Al Watan.
In 2015 Khashoggi’s launched the news channel Al-Arab in Bahrain. However, the channel was shut down on the first day of programming after they interviewed an Bahrainian opposition figure. His run-ins with government repression of journalism did not end there.
In 2016 was banned from writing in Saudi Arabian newspapers or appearing on television. His writing had been critical of Saudi leader Mohammad bin Salman. Journalist Virginia Heffernan has suggested that Jamal Khashoggi was banned because he was criticized Donald Trump during one of his presentations at a Washington think-tank.
After his ban, he left Saudi Arabia and moved to the US where he started writing for The Washington Post. Khashoggi mostly wrote about politics in Saudi Arabia. He supported women’s rights and free speech. He wrote in opposition to the Saudi war with Yemen wrote many more pieces critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
So when Khashoggi went missing on October 2, there was already reason to suspect foul play. He went into the consulate get a document relating to his upcoming marriage and he never left the building. Turkish staff from the consulate were told to take the day off due to a diplomatic meeting in the building. All of the security camera footage was removed from the office. There was, however, footage of a 15-man team sent from Saudi Arabia that day. Turkish authorities have claimed to have audio evidence of a premeditated murder with gruesome details right out of a gangster movie.
The Turkish police says that Khashoggi was tortured and killed in the consulate shortly after a Skype call with a Saud al-Qahtani (a top aide to bin Salman) who commanded his agents to “Bring me the head of the dog.” An anonymous Turkish source says that it took 7 minutes to kill Khashoggi. Some reports have suggested that his dismemberment began while Khashoggi was still alive.
On October 19, after a phone call with the Saudi Arabian Prince, US President Donald Trump supported his version of events, saying that Salman “denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened… The denial was very, very strong, It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?”
Saudi Arabia’s shifting explanations of the event since has cast doubts on their credibility and hurt the reputation of Mohammad bin Salman. On October 26th, Saudi Arabia announced that Jamal Khashoggi’s was killed in the consulate on October 2nd and his death was premeditated, however, they claim that is was a rogue operation, not authorized by bin Salman. Saud al-Qahtani has been fired and several supposed suspects have been arrested by Saudi Arabia and charged with capital crimes.
Saudi Arabia has been hoping for the public furor to die down, and both bin Salman and Trump seem to be eager for Saudi-US relations to remain strong despite the killing, but the constant drip of new details, and tonight’s information about the CIA assessment have kept the pressure on both governments.