WASHINGTON (REPORTBEAT )- This is the first time that the United States has publicly named a Saudi prince in the case, while Muhammad bin Salman has denied allegations that he ordered the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry, however, categorically rejected the US intelligence report, calling it “aggressive and inaccurate” against the Saudi leadership and saying they did not accept the report.
An elite team of operatives helped carry out the killing, the report said. The team reported directly to Prince Mohammed, who cultivated a climate of fear that made it unlikely for aides to act without his consent, according to the report. It omitted the brutal details of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, including the dismemberment of his body with a bone saw after Saudi officials lured him to their consulate in Istanbul.
But the Biden administration took no direct action against Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, instead announcing travel and financial sanctions on other Saudis involved in the killing and on members of the elite unit of the Royal Guard who protect the crown prince. The administration concluded it could not risk a full rupture of its relationship with the kingdom, relied on by the United States to help contain Iran, to counter terrorist groups and to broker peaceful relations with Israel. Cutting off Saudi Arabia could also push its leaders toward China.
Lawmakers of both parties praised the release of the report, but some Democrats, including Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, spoke out in dismay that the administration stopped short of more severely punishing Prince Mohammed for the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, a legal permanent resident of Virginia who was critical of the Saudi government in columns he wrote for The Post.