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Saturday, 17 April 2021

No smoking gun,' 'We are all Mohammed bin Salman,' say Saudi crown prince supporters

A few minutes after the report was released, many Saudis flooded Twitter with the hashtag saying, "We are all Mohammed bin Salman"

Reuters , Friday 26 Feb 2021
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
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"No smoking gun," pro-government Saudi commentators concluded in response to a U.S. intelligence assessment that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the operation to capture or kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A few minutes after the report was released, many Saudis flooded Twitter with the hashtag saying, "We are all Mohammed bin Salman."

Saudi Arabia officially dismissed what it called the "negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the kingdom's leadership", according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ministry added that those responsible for the "heinous crime" had been tried in Saudi courts and that "justice was served."

Riyadh has denied any involvement by the crown prince, also known as MbS.

Commentators close to the government took to social media to defend the crown prince, King Salman's son.

Ali Shihabi, former head of the Arabia Foundation in Washington, said there was nothing in the report that had not been said before and "absolutely no smoking gun."

"Extraordinary that all this hype is made about this document... This thin 'report' is actually evidence that no hard proof exists against MBS," Shihabi said on Twitter.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed, a Saudi columnist who runs a government-controlled media group said "... and it is stated in the report: It is not certain that the accused team was on a journey to get rid of Khashoggi."

He too said there was "no smoking gun."

"The nation is fortified," wrote the conservative and semi-official Okaz newspaper on the front page of its weekend edition, with a large picture of the crown prince smiling.

"The Biden administration will soon realize that the complex issues of the region will not find a solution, except through a new and exceptional agreement with its partners in the region that includes holding Tehran accountable," Okaz said.

This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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