The United States will soon release a report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. President Joe Biden has read the report and will soon speak to Saudi leadership to “recalibrate” relations. The report, compiled by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), will say that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) “likely ordered” the murder.
Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
Saudi Arabia had initially denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance but claimed via state media. The Kingdom claimed that Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, had been strangled in a fistfight with 15 men sent to confront him at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The Kingdom pointed fingers at members of MBS’s inner circle and blamed them for the murder.
Sources familiar with what happened to Khashoggi told CNN at the time that Khashoggi’s murder “was organized by a high-ranking officer with the General Intelligence Presidency, Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence service.”
Former president Donald Trump had also been criticized for his response to the murder, calling Saudi Arabia “an incredible ally” even as pressure that he condemn the Kingdom mounted. At the time, he expressed concern that looking into the murder would disrupt U.S.-Saudi arms sales.
“It’s the largest order in history,” Trump said. “To give that up would hurt us far more than it hurts them. Then all they’ll do is go to Russia or go to China. All that’s doing is hurting us.” He added: “With that being said, something will take place,” though he did not elaborate as to what those actions might be.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.