The CIA has concluded that Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination.

SMH:

The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government’s claims that he was not involved.

The CIA’s assessment, in which officials have said they have high confidence, is the most definitive to date linking Mohammed to the operation and complicates the Trump administration’s efforts to preserve its relationship with a close ally.

A team of 15 Saudi agents flew to Istanbul on government aircraft in October and killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate, where he had come to pick up documents that he needed for his planned marriage to a Turkish woman.

In reaching its conclusions, the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to the people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

It is true that the CIA is a highly untrustworthy organization of criminals, but there was already a mountain of evidence stacking up against the Saudis and Bin Salman. And the murder took place inside a Saudi consulate of all places.

This is going to create more problems for the Saudis as the House of Saud has closed ranks around Bin Salman and have decided not to throw him under the bus. They’re basically going to punish people under Bin Salman for the Khashoggi murder even though these individuals were just following orders.

What’s interesting is that Israel is defending Bin Salman where as we have seen outrage about the murder among the American Jewish diaspora. Presumably the Jews in America think they can use this situation to launch more political attacks against President Donald J. Trump. The Israelis on the other hand have no interest in political instability in Saudi Arabia. They view them as an ally against their arch enemy Iran.

Either way, Saudi Arabia is going to find itself much more isolated on the world stage. It seems as if Israel is the only one really defending them and that’s not a good place to be.

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