A declassified United States intelligence report has stated that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by a "Saudi hit squad operating under the command of Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman", Al Jazeera reported.
The intelligence report, which was declassified on Friday, based its assessment on the crown prince's "control of decision making in the Kingdom" and the “direct involvement of a key adviser and members or Mohammed bin Salman’s protective detail in the operation”. This made it "highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince’s authorisation", the report said.
Al Jazeera added that the intelligence report named 21 individuals complicit in Khashoggi's death.
Soon after, the US announced a "Khashoggi ban", which imposed visa restrictions on 76 individuals "who, acting on behalf of a foreign government, are believed to have been directly engaged in serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities".
Saudi Arabia's ministry of foreign affairs rubbished the intelligence report as a "negative, false and unacceptable assessment" with "inaccurate information and conclusions".
Jamal Khashoggi was killed on October 2, 2018, soon after he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi officials called it a "rogue operation" while Turkish officials said the agents "acted on orders from the highest levels of the Saudi government".