Three new bodies to oversee Saudi intelligence agencies

King Salman ordered revamp after 'rogue operation' to kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman talks with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Dec. 9, 2018. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
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Saudi Arabia has said it is creating three government bodies to increase oversight of its intelligence operations, a move that follows the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate.

Saudi officials have said Khashoggi was killed on October 2 in a "rogue operation" led by the then deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al Assiri and royal court adviser Saud Al Qahtani, both of whom have been sacked.

King Salman subsequently ordered a restructuring of the main intelligence agency under the supervision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has faced global criticism over the journalist's murder even though the government denies he was involved.

A committee headed by the prince has approved the creation of three departments to ensure intelligence operations are in line with the national security policy, international human rights law and "approved procedures", the official Saudi Press Agency said on Thursday.

The statement made no mention of the Khashoggi case.

The intense global backlash over the journalist's killing has tarnished the prince's international reputation and left the kingdom diplomatically weakened, analysts say.

It has also cast a fresh spotlight on the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen, which is gripped by what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The US Senate voted last week to end American military support for Riyadh's military campaign in Yemen, and separately held Prince Mohammed responsible for Khashoggi's killing.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia slammed the Senate resolutions as "blatant interference", warning that the move could have repercussions on its strategic ties with Washington.


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