WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – The Washington Post has reported that the U.S. administration intends to release an intelligence report revealing the implication of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, at his country’s consulate in Turkey in 2018.
The newspaper quoted informed sources stating that the report, which is an unclassified summary of the findings published by the office of Director of National Intelligence, will be released early next week.
The report concluded, according to the newspaper, that bin Salman "ordered Khashoggi’s assassination.”
The newspaper pointed out that a senior Saudi Foreign Ministry official had refused to comment on the timing or content of the U.S. report.
The Washington Post disclosed that in early 2019, Congress passed legislation giving Trump’s administration 30 days to present an unclassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to reveal the names and roles of all current and former Saudi officials linked to Khashoggi’s murder. However, Trump ignored this order.
David Ottaway, an expert on Saudi affairs at the Woodrow Wilson Centre, told the newspaper: "The release of the Khashoggi report could push the tense relations between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. to very low levels.”
This step comes at a time when U.S.-Saudi relations have deteriorated in recent weeks, following the U.S. administration’s decision to freeze arms sales to Riyadh and its commitment to "reassess” relations with the kingdom.
Earlier in February, President Biden announced that his country would stop supporting the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen.
Meanwhile, former Saudi spy chief Saad al-Jabri claimed that bin Salman believes he’s the source in the CIA’s report on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In court documents filed on Thursday, Jabri denied allegations that he embezzled billions of dollars and said he was the victim of a "politically driven attack” that was aiming to portray him as a "criminal mastermind”.
"Bin Salman perceives Dr. Saad to be a significant threat because of Dr. Saad’s close ties with the United States intelligence community, his long relationship with [former Crown Prince Muhammad] bin Nayef, and the highly sensitive information possessed by Dr. Saad,” the documents said, as seen by The Globe and Mail.