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US officials believe Saudi crown prince was behind murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi Saudi prince
Posted at 11:24 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 13:46:54-05

A report released by the Officer of the Director of National Intelligence Friday says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The release of the report comes after the Trump administration largely ignored Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses in the hopes of developing trade relationships. President Joe Biden has sought to rework that relationship in recent weeks.

The report could escalate pressure on the Biden administration to hold the kingdom accountable for a murder that drew bipartisan and international outrage.

The central conclusion of the report was widely expected given that intelligence officials were said to have reached it soon after the brutal October 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s authoritarian consolidation of power.

Still, the public assignment of responsibility amounted to an extraordinary rebuke of the ambitious 35-year-old crown prince.