Crown prince begins reform of Saudi intelligence services

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Updated 26 October 2018

Crown prince begins reform of Saudi intelligence services

  • The restructuring was ordered by King Salman after the murder in Istanbul of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
  • Saudi Arabia has said his death was the result of a “rogue operation” by people acting beyond the scope of their authority, and 18 Saudis have been arrested

RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chaired the first meeting on Thursday of a special committee to reform Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services.

The restructuring was ordered by King Salman after the murder in Istanbul of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The committee assessed the General Intelligence Presidency’s current organizational structure and identified any gaps in its legal framework, policies and procedures. Khashoggi, 59, a Saudi journalist resident in the US, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, after he visited to complete paperwork related to his divorce. 

Saudi Arabia has said his death was the result of a “rogue operation” by people acting beyond the scope of their authority, and 18 Saudis have been arrested.

As the investigation continues, the Saudi public prosecution said on Thursday the killing was premeditated.

“Information from the Turkish authorities indicates that the act of the suspects in the Khashoggi case was premeditated,” Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Mojeb’s office said.

“The public prosecution continues its investigation with suspects... to complete the course of justice.”

The crown prince told the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Wednesday “justice will prevail” in the Khashoggi case.

“The incident was very painful for all Saudis. It was a repulsive incident, and no one can justify it,” he said.

Prince Mohammed said Saudi Arabia and Turkey would work together “to reach results” and he described cooperation between the two countries as “special.”


Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

Updated 58 min 59 sec ago

Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

  • One civilian injured by shrapnel after Saudi-led coalition intercepts four flying bombs launched from Yemen

JEDDAH: Houthi militias and their Iranian backers were condemned on Sunday after the Saudi-led coalition intercepted four explosive-laden drones in two attacks launched from Yemen targeting the south of the Kingdom.

Three of the drones were destroyed early on Saturday and a fourth on Sunday. Shrapnel that fell in Sarat Abidah governorate injured a civilian, and damaged five homes and three vehicles, said civil defense spokesman Capt. Mohammed Abdu Al-Sayed.

Iran was increasing its support to the Houthis to undermine efforts for peace, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, the political analyst and international relations scholar, told Arab News.

“They want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.”

Iranians want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, political analyst and international relations scholar

Al-Shehri said the situation in Yemen would remain the same unless the legitimate government was returned to Yemen, Security Council Resolution 2216 was put into practice and the Houthi militia were removed.

“Without these things, the Yemen crisis will not end and the whole region will remain in tension.”

The Houthis did not differentiate between military sites and civilian locations, he said.

“Their objective is to damage all places they can reach in Saudi Arabia, and their latest attempts to attack a populated area are nothing new.

“They have also targeted airports and some Aramco oil facilities. If the Aramco attack had not been contained, the damage would have affected the whole Eastern region. They have also attempted to target Makkah, where pilgrims and worshippers were performing their rituals.

“They don’t care. If you look back at what the Revolutionary Guards did at the Grand Mosque, you will realize it is not strange that the Houthis are trying to destroy everything in Saudi Arabia. The strange thing is the silence of the world toward what is happening.”