Jordan 'foils coup attempt involving royal family members, senior

Paola Ditto
Aprile 4, 2021

A source on Saturday denied reports that HRH Prince Hamzeh had been detained or placed under house arrest as some media outlets claim, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. Yousef Huneiti, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was quoted as saying that King Abdullah's half-brother was asked to cease "movements and activities that are used to target" the security and stability of Jordan.

Prince Hamzah said in a video recording he was under house arrest and had been told to stay at home and not contact anyone.

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. "This is my last communication, satellite internet that I have, and I've been informed by the company that they're instructed to cut it so it may be the last time I'm able to communicate".

As I said to the chief of staff when he came, 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.

I am not responsible for the lack of faith that people have in their institutions.

The current crown prince is Abdullah's oldest son, Hussein, who is 26. The kingdom, which has scant resources, received some $1.5 billion in assistance from the U.S.in 2020 - a result of Abdullah's popularity among congressional leaders.

Abdullah had appointed his half-brother Hamzah crown prince in line with Hussein's dying wish, but in 2004 stripped him of the title and gave it to his own eldest son Hussein. Nevertheless, King Hussein insisted on putting Hamzah next in line to the throne after Abdullah.

Apart from the members of the royal family, the alleged plot also involved security officials and tribal leaders.

Jordan Begins Arrests in Possible Plot Against King
Jordan's ex-crown prince says he's being held under house arrest, internet cut

"The move followed the discovery of what palace officials described as a complex and far-reaching plot", it said, quoting a senior Middle East intelligence official.

The Saudi royal court issued a statement in solidarity with King Abdullah, asserting it stood with the Jordanian monarch and supported whatever decisions he makes to "preserve the security and stability and frustrate any attempt to tamper with them". "King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support", he said. Jordan is a key USA partner in the Middle East, given its geopolitical position as a neighbor to Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Jordan's King Abdullah II, right, speaks across a table to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during a 2018 lunch at the royal palace in Amman.

Earlier in the day, Sherif Hassan Ben Zeid and former minister Bassem Awadallah, among others, were arrested for security reasons, a security source said.

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

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.

Saturday's security sweep comes as Jordan prepares to mark 100 years since the new kingdom then named Transjordan was established alongside Palestine under British mandate.

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