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Saudi Arabia's shifting narrative on Khashoggi reveals fragility

The Khashoggi affair is the latest example of how Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become a liability for Saudi Arabia.
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The pathetic Saudi explanation of the state-ordered murder of Jamal Khashoggi reflects the fragility of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s position. The cover-up is trying to put the blame for Khashoggi’s brutal execution on the Saudi intelligence service, the General Intelligence Directorate. America’s oldest partner in the Middle East is increasingly a danger to regional stability and its own stability.

After 17 days of procrastination, the Saudis announced that Khashoggi is dead, and that 18 Saudi officials have been detained, including 15 who flew to Istanbul and back Oct. 2 when Khashoggi was killed. Five others have been removed from office, including Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri, who is accused of being the mastermind of the operation in Istanbul. Khashoggi’s body has not been recovered. The Turks are said to have tapes that recorded the gruesome murder and will undercut Saudi claims of a fistfight that got out of control.

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