Jordan Begins Arrests in Possible Plot Against King

Jordan Begins Arrests in Possible Plot Against King

A Jordanian royal family member and the former head of the royal court have been arrested

Hamza bin Al-Hussein was a former crown prince of Jordan, but was removed as heir to the throne by King Abdullah in 2004 in what was seen as a consolidation of power.

He denied being part of "any conspiracy or nefarious organisation", but said the Hashemite kingdom had "become stymied in corruption, in nepotism, and in misrule" where no one was allowed to criticise the authorities.

Arrests of top officials close to royal family members are rare in Jordan. Sherif is a title given to those close to the royal family in Jordan.

Hamzah is the eldest son of late King Hussein and his American wife Queen Noor.

Prince Hamzah served as Jordan's crown prince for four years before the title was transferred to the current monarch's eldest son, Hussein.

The army denied Saturday that Prince Hamzah, who holds no official position, had been detained.

Prince Hamza said Saturday he had been placed under house arrest and accused the country's "ruling system" of incompetence and corruption.

He affirmed the full support of the GCC for all decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah to preserve the security and stability of Jordan, wishing Jordan continued security and stability under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah and Crown Prince Hussein, the statement said.

Jordan, which is now under a nightly covid curfew that is set to expire in mid-May, has been hit hard economically by the coronavirus pandemic as well as by the fallout from massive waves of refugees from neighboring Syria. The Kingdom works as an intelligence hub for Washington.

"At least 20 more people involved with Prince Hamzah have been arrested at the same time", a Jordanian source told MEE.

Huneiti said that Prince Hamzah was asked to "cease any movement and activities that could be used to target the security and stability of Jordan " and that "a comprehensive joint investigations carried out by the security services led to the arrests of Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid and Bassan Awadallah and others", Petra reported.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said, "We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials".

The US State Department said on Saturday that King Abdullah is a "key partner" of the US.

Neighboring Saudi Arabia also reacted swiftly to the developments in Amman. In a GCC statement, the bloc's Secretary General Nayef Falah Mubarak Al Hajraf stressed that the GCC stands with Jordan and supports all measures it takes to maintain its security and stability.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also voiced support.

Egypt has also expressed solidarity with Jordan's King Abdullah II In the wake of media reports.

Following his work in the king's office and a stint as finance minister, Awadallah established new businesses in UAE and Saudi Arabia.

He had been a rising figure in Jordan, playing a key role in pushing for economic reforms in the cash-strapped country until he resigned in 2008.

In Jordan, that news of the alleged coup has gone public by way of brief statements and virtual silence from the local press has several political observers to speculate that the coup may be a cover story for another political maneuver, said Jordanian political analyst Amer Sabaileh.

Jordan's powerful intelligence agency, with a pervasive influence in public life, has played a bigger public role since the introduction of emergency laws at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic a year ago, which civic groups say violate civil and political rights.

It declared independence in 1946, and despite having little oil wealth, severely lacking water and repeatedly being rocked by wars on its borders, the kingdom has managed to survive the regional upheavals.

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