The Scapegoat – General Asiri Blamed for Khashoggi’s Murder:
The Scapegoat: It was announced on Saudi state television that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his investigative team targeted/blamed one of his favored generals for the death of dissident columnist Jamal Khashoggi. General Ahmed al-Asiri, one of the Crown Prince’s most trusted security officials and Deputy Head of Saudi intelligence, was blamed along with 18 others.
Asiri, a senior Air Force Officer, was the Saudi face of the Yemen war for more than a year before being promoted to Head of Saudi Intelligence. He was entrusted with the most sensitive state secrets. Sandhurst-educated, US-trained and fluent in English, he had a steady rise through the Saudi Air Force. He was seen by other senior officers as meritorious.
Before the sacking of General Asiri, there were several explanations from the Royal Monarchy each continuing to evolve and change: 1) He’s not dead, he left the consulate and disappeared; 2) He may be dead 3) He’s dead but we had nothing to do with his death; 4) It was a rogue faction who turned on the Crown Prince; 5) Khashoggi is dead and there was a fight that broke out.
It is unlikely Khashoggi would have started any fight knowing this would certainly lead to his death. He probably knew from the moment he stepped into the Saudi Consulate what was going down. Maybe he attempted to escape when his assassins wrestled him down and dragged him to his tortured demise.
There is video footage of the some of the 15 Saudis who were strolling through the halls of the hotel when they checked in and it doesn’t appear that General Asiri was with the assassins.
It could be General Asiri is to blame for ordering the assassination for the Crown Prince. Or maybe Asiri wasn’t convinced about ordering Khashoggi’s assassination trying to save the Crown Prince from going down a rabbit hole and not necessarily coming out the other end unscathed. Either way, General Asiri’s Intelligence career was cut short and the Crown Prince looks like the culprit.