Death of Saudi Journalist Brings Turmoil

CIA Links Crown Prince to Killing

Sam Opuni, News Editor

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Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian writer who lived in Arlington, Virginia and worked as a columnist for The Washington Post. In October, 2018 he was killed during a visit to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

According to the Donna Abu-Nasr of The Washington Post, Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian consulate on October 2nd to obtain a marriage license that he needed in order to marry his Turkish fiancé. Khashoggi never left the consulate and was considered missing, which brought an air of uncertainty to the situation along with accusations of wrongdoing.

The Saudi government initially denied involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance. According to a BBC report, the Saudis claimed that he had left the consulate unharmed on October 3rd, and then changed their story on October 15th when they mentioned the possibility of rogue killers taking out Khashoggi. Their story changed again on October 20th when they said that a brawl and fist fight between Khashoggi and the person he met at the consulate cost him his life. Finally, on October 21st, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that the “murder was a mistake” by rogue operatives.

According to Eric Schmitt and Nicholas Fandos of The New York Times, the CIA has concluded that “Prince Mohammed had ordered Mr. Khashoggi’s killing” and that they have “evidence that the crown prince communicated repeatedly with an aide who commanded the team that assassinated Mr. Khashoggi, around the time of the journalist’s death on Oct. 2.”

President Trump has said of the CIA report, “our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” According to Schmitt and Fandos, “A bipartisan group of senior senators said…that a classified briefing by the C.I.A. director had only solidified their belief that Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, ordered the killing of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.”

Ultimately, the death of Jamal Khashoggi may bring significant change in how nations respond to human rights violations committed by allies. Only time will tell how this incident affects the relationship, both in business and in diplomacy, between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

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