The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in close communication with his adviser "who oversaw the team that killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi".

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares for a family photo during the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares for a family photo during the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. (Reuters)

A CIA report alleges that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in messages he sent to the leader of an alleged killing squad, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

"Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent at least 11 messages to his closest adviser, who oversaw the team that killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the hours before and after the journalist’s death in October," it said, citing a classified CIA assessment.

The crown prince told his close circle last August that if they failed to bring back Khashoggi "we could lure him outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements".

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who wrote articles for The Washington Post, was killed shortly after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After weeks of saying Khashoggi left the consulate alive, the Saudi administration later admitted he was killed there, blaming his death on a group of rogue Saudi operatives.

According to the CIA document, the messages were sent to Saud al Qahtani, who was the top aide of the crown prince.

“Qahtani supervised the 15-man team that killed Mr. Khashoggi and, during the same period, was also in direct communication with the team’s leader in Istanbul, the assessment says,” the Journal reported.

Meanwhile Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that Riyadh extradite the suspects in the Jamal Khahoggi killing case so they can face justice in Turkey.

The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is not an issue of Turkey but the whole world, Erdogan said on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

He said Turkey never saw the killing of the journalist as a political issue, adding that the incident is and will remain as "flagrant murder."

The Turkish leader stated that Ankara mobilised all efforts since the brutal killing of the Washington Post columnist inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The US in November put sanctions on 17 people tied to the killing of Khashoggi, including al Qahtani.

In the following days, the CIA concluded that Khashoggi's murder was ordered by the Saudi crown prince.

Rejecting the reports, US President Donald Trump, who is accused of close ties with bin Salman, said "maybe he did and maybe he didn't".

Source: AA