Saudi crown prince threatened to put 'a bullet' in slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi: report

Saudi crown prince threatened to put 'a bullet' in slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi: report
Image credit: U.S. Department of State

The murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 provoked horror and outrage. And the United States is getting closer to delivering answers.


On Thursday, The New York Times reported that a year before the killing, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that if Khashoggi did not return to the kingdom and cease his criticisms of the regime, he would put "a bullet" in him:

The conversation, intercepted by American intelligence agencies, is the most detailed evidence to date that the crown prince considered killing Mr. Khashoggi long before a team of Saudi operatives strangled him inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and dismembered his body using a bone saw. Mr. Khashoggi’s murder prompted weeks of outrage around the world and among both parties in Washington, where senior lawmakers called for an investigation into who was responsible.

The Saudi government has denied that the young crown prince played any role in the killing, and President Trump has publicly shown little interest in trying to get the facts about who was responsible. Prince Mohammed, the next in line to the Saudi throne behind his ailing father, King Salman, has become the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and a close ally of the Trump White House — especially Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser.

This report comes just a United Nations inquiry concluded that Khashoggi's death was "planned and perpetrated" by the government of Saudi Arabia.

Despite the fact that both Turkish and American intelligence officials suspected from the beginning that the Saudi prince was behind the murder, Trump has been reluctant to acknowledge it. He has disputed the CIA findings and said that he stands by the prince, noting that he "vehemently denies" any involvement. Trump's GOP allies in the Senate have disavowed the president's position, joining with a unanimous vote to condemn the prince as responsible for the killing.

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