No Intelligence Directly Links Saudi Crown Prince to Khashoggi’s Assassination
Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he has seen all the intelligence possessed by the United States on the assassination of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi and repeated that no direct evidence links Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the incident.
“I have read every piece of intelligence that is in the possession of United States government,” Secretary Pompeo said in an TV interview in Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit.
“When it is done, when you complete that analysis, there is no direct evidence linking him to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That is an accurate statement, an important statement and it is a statement that we are making publicly today,” he said.
Asked if the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had concluded with “high confidence” that Prince Mohammed, de-facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, was involved, Secretary Pompeo said: “I cannot comment on intelligence matters, CIA conclusions.”
The CIA assessed that the Crown Prince ordered the 2 October killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul of Washington Post opinion contributor Jamal Khashoggi, a strident critic of the Saudi ruler.
Saudi Arabia has said the Prince had no prior knowledge of the assassination. Riyadh says said Mr. Khashoggi had been killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.
US President Donald Trump has cast doubt on the CIA assessment that the Crown Prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing, telling reporters the agency had not formed a definitive conclusion.
You will recall that the CIA ‘assessed’ that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, when they did not have, and had not had since 1991.
Secretary Pompeo said the United States was working with Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan and against Iran and that Riyadh was “an enormous support” for Washington. “They are a relationship that has mattered for 70 years across Republican and Democrat administrations like … We’re aiming to keep that relationship,” he said.
Have a terrific weekend