According to a declassified US report, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman spearheaded the operation in Istanbul to capture and kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in 2018. Previously Turkey had claimed the killing was ordered at the highest level of Saudi leadership, implying Prince Mohammed was behind the murder. Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the Saudi regime, was killed on October 2, 2018 in Turkey. His killing had brought international outrage and damaged the reputation of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman worldwide.

US’ Office of the Director of National Intelligence claimed in its report that they put together the evaluation with respect to the Crown Prince’s control of decision making in the Kingdom, the immediate association of a key counselor and individuals from Muhammad Salman’s in the operation.

Saudi have been maintaining that Khashoggi’s killing was the work of rogue Saudi security and intelligence officials. Saudi Arabian courts last year announced they had sentenced eight Saudi nationals to prison in Khashoggi’s killing but were not identified. The report has been released a day after US President Joe Biden had a telephonic conversation with Saudi King Salman.

Following the international backlashes and condemnation the Saudi Prince said in 2019 he took “full responsibility” for the killing since it happened on his watch, but denied ordering it.