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Former CIA Director: Bin Salman’s innocence in Khashoggi’s case is pretence

Head of the CIA John Brennan
Head of the CIA, John Brennan [File photo]

Former Director of the CIA, John O. Brennan, stated that that the reasons for the Saudi leadership’s denials of involvement in the case of Jamal Khashoggi is meaningless.

Brennan added in an interview with the American NBC network on Sunday evening: “If Khashoggi had disappeared in Turkey at a hotel or private residence, I think there is plausible deniability in the part of the Saudi government. But he disappeared when there is video evidence of him being at the Saudi consulate. So, their denials very much ring hollow.”

WATCH: NBC’s interview with John Brennan

The former US official claimed that it would be inconceivable that the Saudis would run such an operation without the knowledge of the day-to-day decision maker, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He pointed out that King Salman is too old to have enough political power or even mental ability to work effectively.

He also pointed out that bin Salman would not have dared to do so without if he did not have such a close relationship with US President Donald Trump and his Senior Advisor, Jared Kushner.

READ: The Khashoggi case leads to calls for the ‘Vaticanisation’ of Makkah and Madinah

Saudi Arabia faces widespread international criticism, amid expectations of imposing sanctions on it, following the crisis of Khashoggi’s disappearance after entering his country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October, without being seen by anyone after that.

An exclusive source of The New Khaleej confirmed that a Saudi assassination group of Al-Saif Al-Ajrab Battalion, which is directly affiliated to the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, had killed Khashoggi.

The source added that bin Salman chose the most competent officers from the army and the Ministry of the Interior and recruited them in the new battalion, which is directly affiliated to him and receives orders from him.

According to the source, the battalion serves as the elite forces of bin Salman. It implements his special orders, including the campaign of arrests of clerics and the arrest of princes at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh.

The battalion was named after a famous sword in the Saudi culture of Imam Turki bin Mohamed Al Saud, the founder of the second Saudi state, and the grandfather of rulers of House of Saud, who called his sword “Al-Ajrab”.

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