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Killing audio has possible mention of Saudi boss

by Harvest Prude
Posted 11/13/18, 11:44 am

A member of the assassination team that killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month told a superior over the phone to “tell your boss” the mission is complete, signifying that the operation was planned and likely ordered by a higher-up in the Saudi government, Turkish intelligence sources told The New York Times. Turkey captured the instructions in an audio recording of the assassination it has shared with U.S. intelligence. Reports on the audio have sparked a debate about whether the “boss” the recording refers to is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is not mentioned by name.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has charged that the order to kill Khashoggi, a Saudi national, U.S. resident, and Washington Post columnist, came from high levels in the Saudi government, but he has not accused the royal family directly. White House national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday told reporters he disagreed that such a phrase necessarily implicated the crown prince. Saudi officials have categorically denied the crown prince knew about the operation. They also disagree that the recording includes the phrase “tell your boss.”

Erdogan said over the weekend that Turkish officials had shared the audio recording with other Western countries and Saudi Arabia. Turkey’s slow leak of evidence has contradicted the shifting Saudi narrative surrounding Khashoggi’s death, which officials said was committed by rogue agents. Several members of Congress have called for the United States to withdraw from arms sales to the Saudis. President Donald Trump has so far demurred, saying such a move would hurt the United States economically, and that the administration will instead punish those responsible.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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