Saudi foreign ministry tweets out veiled threat following US media criticism over Khashoggi murder

Saudi foreign ministry tweets out veiled threat following US media criticism over Khashoggi murder
Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry has tweeted out a threatening meme, perceived to be directed at Washington.
2 min read
09 February, 2019
Trump and Prince Mohammed are said to have warm ties [AFP]
Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry tweeted out a veiled threat on Friday - widely perceived to be aimed at Washington -following an article in American media linking powerful Crown Prince Mohammed to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

The ministry tweeted a meme showing a picture of King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, late Friday.

The crown prince is widely believed to be the kingdom's de-facto ruler and has been linked to the slaying on Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October.

"Minister Adel al-Jubeir: Our leadership is a red line. We will not accept any state to dictate to us what to do. We warn against any attempt to link Khashoggi's crime [murder] to our leadership," the threatening meme read.

It follows a report in The New York Times this week, that clamed the crown prince threatened to use "a bullet" on Khashoggi unless the journalist ended his criticm of his regime.

American intelligence agencies who intercepted the message told the daily that although Prince Mohammed probably did not mean a literal bullet, it still it could be seen as a message that he wanted Khashoggi dead.

The journalist is believed to have been strangled to death by a team of Saudi killers linked to Prince Mohammed, with his body then dismembered and smuggled out of the consulate or dissolved in acid, according to intelligence reports.

Turkish and US intelligence services have also linked Prince Mohammed to the murder, although President Donald Trump's White House has been keen to blur the lines in order to maintain the strong military and ecomomic relationship between the two countries.

The UN is looking into the killing, while Trump allies have turned on the president and accused him of favouring economic rewards from Riyadh over justice.

Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner - a key aide to the president on Middle East affairs, despite his limited experience in this field - is also said to be close friends with the crown prince and has been accused of trying to shield him from criticism.

Turkey has also accused Riyadh of trying to hinder Ankara and the UN's investigation into the killing.

Khashoggi was one of the Arab world's best-known journalists and had been increasingly critical of the Riyadh regime, following the mass detention of activists and war in Yemen under Crown Prince Mohammed.