Jordan's Queen Noor says plot attributed to son ‘wicked slander’

Jordan arrests ex-palace aide, others for ‘security’ reasons

Jordan prince was asked to stop destabilizing ‘activities’

Sharif Hasan, also a member of the royal family, and Saudi citizen and former head of the Jordanian Royal Hashemite Court, Bassem Awadullah, were also arrested.

Most dramatically, the Jordanian military ordered the house arrest of the popular former crown prince Hamzeh bin Hussein.

The state news agency said on Saturday that Bassem Awadallah, a USA -educated long-time confidant of the king who later became minister of finance and also advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and royal family member Sharif Hassan Ben Zaid had been detained, along with others.

The deputy prime minister said ongoing investigations began a long time ago, and that the Jordanian government has foiled all moves to undermine security.

The news comes as a shock in the desert kingdom, a close regional ally of the USA often lauded for its stability in a crisis-ridden neighborhood. The monarch replaced him with his eldest son, Hussein, four years into his rule.

"I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, for the corruption, and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years, and has been getting worse by the year", Prince Hamzah said in the video. "God bless and keep them safe", she tweeted.

Late Saturday night, Jordan's Chief of Staff Maj.

Jordan's army chief said on Saturday that Hamzah was not under arrest, but had been asked to stop "some activities that could be used to shake the stability and security of Jordan".

In a video the BBC said it obtained from his lawyer, Prince Hamzah said a number of his friends had been arrested, his security removed and his internet and phone lines cut.

"No one is above the law, and Jordan's security and stability is above any consideration".

FILE - In this December 10, 2020 photo released by the Royal Hashemite Court, Jordan's King Abdullah II gives a speech during the inauguration of the 19th Parliament's non-ordinary session, in Amman Jordan. A State Department spokesman said the USA is in touch with officials in Jordan.

Neighboring countries and allies of Jordan expressed their support for King Abdullah on Sunday.

"Ahmed Aboul Gheit added that King Abdullah II has a high and appreciated position, whether among the Jordanian people or on the Arab level in general, and that everyone knows his sincerity and his great role in serving Arab causes". The kingdom, which has scant resources, received some $1.5 billion in assistance from the 2020 - a result of Abdullah's popularity among congressional leaders. Jordan is home to more than 2 million Palestinian refugees, most of whom have Jordanian citizenship.

Mr Safadi said officials had tried to discourage the prince rather than take legal action against him, but that Prince Hamzah had "dealt with this request negatively".

The prince, the oldest son of the late King Hussein is allegedly thought to be involved in plans to overthrow his older half brother, King Abdullah II, the report added.

"His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa affirmed full support to the decisions and measures taken by HM King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein of Jordan to maintain his country's security and stability and defuse all disruptive attempts", state news agency BNA said.

Hassan bin Zaid was formerly King Abdullah's special envoy to Saudi Arabia. He later became chief executive of Tomoh Advisory, a Dubai-based consultancy. Discontent has risen, with Jordanians increasingly angry over the government's handling of the pandemic and its inability to contain the economic devastation wreaked by strong lockdowns and weekend quarantines.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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