Report: Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Operation Against Missing Journalist
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman reportedly ordered an operation targeting journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing last week after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Washington Post, to which Khashoggi was a contributor, claimed that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications by Saudi officials detailing plans to lure the reporter from the United States—where he was living in self-imposed exile—in order to detain him. According to a preliminary Turkish investigation, Khashoggi never left the Saudi mission and possibly was killed by a hit squad of fifteen Saudis that flew in and out of Istanbul on the same day. In response, U.S. officials denied any knowledge of a plot against the prominent critic of Riyadh’s policies, and demanded that the House of Saud cooperate with an ongoing probe. The incident risks not only upending already fraught ties between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but could greatly impact the kingdom’s relations with its closest ally Washington. Already there have been calls by congressional leaders to halt all weapons transfers to the conservative Islamic nation and to end support for its war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.