OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Assessing the Saudi Government’s
Role in the Killing of Jamal Khashoggi
February 11 , 2021
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( U ) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
( U ) This report is provided by the ODNI Questions should be directed to the NIO for Near East .
We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an
operation in Istanbul , Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
. We base this assessment on the Crown Prince’s control of decisionmaking in the
Kingdom , the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of Muhammad bin Salman’s
protective detail in the operation , and the Crown Prince’s support for using violent measures
to silence dissidents abroad , including Khashoggi
Security
Since 2017 , the Crown Prince has had absolute control of the
carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince’s authorization

Assessing the Saudi Government’s Role in the Killing of Jamal
Khashoggi
We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an
operation in Istanbul , Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi . We base this
assessment on the Crown Prince’s control of decisionmaking in the Kingdom since 2017 , the direct
involvement of a key adviser and members of Muhammad bin Salman’s protective detail in the
operation , and the Crown Prince’s support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad ,
including Khashoggi . Since 2017 , the Crown Prince has had absolute control of the Kingdom’s
security and intelligence organizations , making it highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have
carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince’s authorization .
. At the time of the Khashoggi murder , the Crown Prince probably fostered an
environment in which aides were afraid that failure to complete assigned tasks might result
in him firing or arresting them . This suggests that the aides were unlikely to question
Muhammad bin Salman’s orders or undertake sensitive actions without his consent .
.The 15 – member Saudi team that arrived in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 included
officials who worked for , or were associated with , the Saudi Center for Studies and Media
Affairs ( CSMARC ) at the Royal Court . At the time of the operation , CSMARC was led by
Saud al – Qahtani , a close adviser of Muhammad bin Salman , who claimed publicly in mid2018 that he did not make decisions without the Crown Prince’s approval
• The team also included seven members of Muhammad bin Salman’s elite personal
protective detail , known as the Rapid Intervention Force ( RIF ) . The RIP – a subset of the
Saudi Royal Guard – exists to defend the Crown Prince , answers only to him , and had
directly participated in earlier dissident suppression operations in the Kingdom and abroad
at the Crown Prince’s direction . We judge that members of the RIF would not have
participated in the operation against Khashoggi without Muhammad bin Salman’s approval .
The Crown Prince viewed Khashoggi as a threat to the Kingdom and broadly
ed using violent measures if necessary to silence him . Although Saudi officials had
pre – planned an
unspecified operation against Khashoggi we do not know how far in advance
Saudi officials decided to harm him .
We have high confidence that the following individuals participated in , ordered , or were
otherwise complicit in or responsible for the death of Jamal Khashogi on behalf of Muhammad bin
in Khashoggi’s death
Salman . We do not know whether these individuals knew in advance that the operation would result

Saud al – Qahtani
Maher Mutreb
Naif al – Arifi
Mohammed al – Zahrani
Mansour Abahussain
Badr al – Utaybah
Abdul Aziz Al Hawsawi
Waleed Abdullah Al Shihri
Khalid Al Utaybah
Tha’ar Al Harbi
Fahd Shiahb Al Balawi
Meshalal – Bustani
Turk Al Shihi
( U ) Mustafa Al Madani
• ( U ) Saif Saad Al

  • Ahmed Zayed Asiri
    Abdulla Mohammed Alhoeriny
    Yasir Khalid Alsalem
    Ibrahim al – Salim
    . ( U ) Salah Al Tubagy
    . ( U ) Mohammed Al Utaybah