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Who is Ahmed al-Asiri, the sacked Saudi intelligence chief?

General al-Asiri was fired as the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence services on Friday over killing of Khashoggi.

Ahmed al-Asiri

Major General Ahmed Al-Asiri was sacked as Saudi Arabia's deputy intelligence chief on Friday, Saudi state media reported.

The announcement came as the kingdom's state media said that the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, citing an official Saudi investigation.

State media also reported that King Salman had ordered the restructuring of the command of the general intelligence agency, under the supervision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS.)

Al-Asiri has served as an adviser to bin Salman, who promoted him to his intelligence position last year, and is considered to be one of MBS' closest aides.

Al-Asiri was not part of the 15-man "hit squad" named by Turkish media, who Turkish officials suspect were involved in the killing of Khashoggi.

Al-Asiri is well known to journalists who cover the Middle East, from his previous role as spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition campaign in Yemen.

A report in the New York Times on Thursday indicated that the Saudi rulers were considering blaming al-Asiri for the killing of Khashoggi, noting that it would provide a plausible explanation for the killing and help to deflect blame from the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


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