"Tell your boss." Do those words implicate Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi? Turkish intelligence officers think so, but the proof is not irrefutable because "the boss" is never named. As the New York Times reports, a member of the Saudi hit team that killed Khashoggi called a superior immediately after the murder and instructed him to "tell your boss" that it was done. The Saudi prince is not named in the recording, but Turkish officials say the man speaking was Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a security officer who travels with the prince frequently. The Turkish officials believe that he was talking to one of the prince's aides and that "the boss" is bin Salman. "A phone call like that is about as close to a smoking gun as you are going to get," former CIA official Bruce Riedel tells the Times.
The Saudis, however, continue to insist that the prince did not order the killing. US national security adviser John Bolton has not listened to the recordings himself, but he said Tuesday that he has spoken to those who have, and he does not think they implicate the prince, reports the Washington Post. Turkey maintains that the 15-member hit team strangled Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, then dismembered his body with a saw. "The recordings are really appalling,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday. “When the Saudi intelligence officer listened to the recordings he was so shocked he said: ‘This one must have taken heroin, only someone who takes who heroin would do this.'" (In an unusual twist, Amazon is losing Saudi customers over the killing.)