The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, despite the Saudi government’s denials that the de facto ruler was involved, according to a senior US official. The senior US official said on Friday the conclusion is based on a recording provided by the Turkish government and other evidence, including American intelligence.
Investigators also believe an operation such as the one that ended in Khashoggi’s death would not have happened without bin Salman’s knowledge given his control of the government, the senior US official said. A Saudi Embassy spokeswoman said in a statement that “the claims in this purported assessment are false.
We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations.” The Washington Post was first to report on the CIA’s assessment. According to the Post, US officials have high confidence in the CIA’s assessment. A spokesman for the CIA declined to comment to the Post. The Saudi government has denied bin Salman’s involvement in Khashoggi’s death.