Poor Khashoggi! Even The CIA May Have Got Some of The Facts Wrong

Published March 1st, 2021 - 09:41 GMT
An MBS Cartoon
The classified report is believed to say that, based on intelligence collected by the CIA and other spy bodies, the kingdom's de facto leader directed the assassination of the respected US-based writer in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Jim WATSON / AFP
Abdulla Mohammed Alhoeriny, Yasir Khalid Alsalem and Ibrahim al-Salim were initially listed as having been complicit in Khashoggi's death.

Intelligence officials quietly removed the names of three men 'erroneously' included in the report detailing the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it was revealed on Sunday.

The first link sent out by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence went dead and has been replaced with a new 'v2' version removing the names of three men which the first version of the report said were involved, CNN reported.

Last week, the declassified report made news after it found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, approved the order to 'capture or kill' Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post.

'We put a revised document on the website because the original one erroneously contained three names which should not have been included,' an ODNI spokesperson told CNN.

Abdulla Mohammed Alhoeriny, Yasir Khalid Alsalem and Ibrahim al-Salim were initially listed as having 'participated in, ordered, or were otherwise complicit in or responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi.'

ODNI declined to clarify why their names were originally included in the report, CNN reported. A House Intelligence Committee official told the outlet that lawmakers have asked for a clarification from the intelligence agency. 

Abdulla Mohammed Alhoeriny, the brother of General Abdulaziz bin Mohammed al-Howraini, had not previously been tied to Khashoggi's death, according to the outlet.

Al-Howraini heads the powerful Presidency of State Security agency, which was created in 2017 to oversee multiple intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies. 

Alhoeriny is reportedly the assistant chief of state security for counter-terrorism, CNN reported.

It was not immediately clear who Yasir Khalid Alsalem and Ibrahim al-Salim are and what their ties may be to the Saudi government.

None of the three men were sanctioned with 18 others whose names were listed in the revised intelligence report, CNN reported.

The Saudi government had immediately responded to the report on Friday, criticizing it for 'the negative, false and unacceptable assessment' and noting that it 'contained inaccurate information and conclusions.'

Former CIA Director John Brennan said on Friday that President Joe Biden should not 'turn a blind eye' to actions of the Crown Prince after the report became public.

Brennan, who served as the CIA chief from March 2013 to January 2017, called on Biden to prevent bin Salman from ever entering United States while still maintaining a ‘longstanding strategic partnership’ with Saudi Arabia.

'The United States and Saudi Arabia have had a longstanding strategic partnership that I think is very important to both countries,' Brennan said in an interview with MSNBC's Joshua Johnson.

'It runs the gamut from energy to security, counter-terrorism and economics. So therefore, I do think it’s important we maintain the strength of that relationship.'

However, Brennan said the Biden administration should not 'turn a blind eye at all to things Saudi leaders do, including Mohammed bin Salman.'

Brennan said Biden has to send a 'clear signal' to bin Salman that 'these types of activities, oppressing, suppressing and ruthlessly killing any Saudi activist who dare to speak out against him is something that shouldn’t be tolerated.'

'I do think we can distinguish between the strategic partnership between the two countries and the actions of one man,' Brennan said.

He continued: 'That’s why I’m really hoping that the Biden administration is going to hold him accountable, saying that he is not going to come to the United States for any official or personal visits.'

Brennan added that the Biden administration officials should not hold any senior level meetings with bin Salman.

'That has to be made very clear, not just to Mohammed bin Salman and the rest of the Saudi government, but also to other governments throughout the region,' Brennan said.

'They cannot get away with this because the Biden administration is going to hold them to certain standards in terms of human rights and values.'

The Biden administration has faced some criticism that the president should have been tougher on the crown prince, who was not sanctioned for the 2018 murder. 

Biden said on Saturday that his administration would make an announcement on Saudi Arabia on Monday.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia said it intercepted a missile attack over its capital as well as bomb-laden drones targeting a southern province.

The attack marks the latest in a series of airborne assaults it has blamed on the Iran-allied Houthis rebels in Yemen's civil war.

Dramatic videos posted by the state-owned Al-Ekhbariya to Twitter which appear to show the ballistics missile being intercepted and detonated in the air above Riyadh.

This article has been adapted from its original source. 

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

You may also like