WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to American officials.
Officials cautioned that the American and Turkish intelligence agencies still do not have definitive evidence linking Prince Mohammed to the assassination. But the C.I.A. has made the assessment that the prince’s control of Saudi Arabia is such that the killing would not have taken place without his approval, officials said.
Intelligence officials have been focusing on two key areas to make the case that Prince Mohammed ordered the killing of Mr. Khashoggi: calls by the kill team to a senior aide to the crown prince and intercepts of the crown prince’s calls in the days before the killing.
The intercepts show that Prince Mohammed was trying to find ways to lure Mr. Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, according to people briefed on the intelligence findings. But he did not say in the phone calls that he wanted to have Mr. Khashoggi killed, the people said.