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There were few unknowns in the much-anticipated US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. However, the reprise of Khashoggi’s gruesome demise in Istanbul on 2 October 2018, which was declassified and released on 26 February by national intelligence director Avril Haines, was sufficient to set off a fresh wave of demands for tougher action against the alleged instigator of the Saudi hit squad, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). But away from the noise, there has been a concerted effort by Washington and Riyadh to isolate the Khashoggi affair from their wider diplomatic and security relationship.