Jordanian authorities are said to have arrested almost 20 people on Saturday. Among them is a former minister and chief of staff.
Earlier Saturday, the Washington Post reported that King Abdullah II’s half-brother and former Crown Prince Hamzah bin Hussein were among those arrested, according to an intelligence source.
Later, however, the Jordanian authorities denied that the prince had been arrested. But according to the state news agency Petra, he has received a warning.
The prince himself says in a video to the BBC that he has been placed under house arrest.
In the video, he claims that he is not allowed to go out or meet or communicate with people since “the government or the king” has been criticized in connection with meetings the prince has previously attended.
Hamzah says he himself has not been accused of criticizing the authorities.
The chief of staff of the Jordanian army, Yousef Huneiti, says Hamzah has been asked to “stop some movements and activities that have been used to affect Jordan’s security and stability.”
Hamzah is the eldest son of the late King Hussein and his fourth wife Queen Noor. He was Crown Prince for four years until incumbent King Abdullah relieved him of his duties in 2004. The Crown Prince then received the King’s eldest son, Hussein.
The news agency Petra reports that Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, former royal envoy to Saudi Arabia, and former chief of staff, planning minister and finance minister Basem Ibrahim Awadallah are among those arrested.
It is currently unclear what they are charged with, but Petra cites a security source that “security reasons” are the background for the arrests.
Chief of Staff Huneti confirms that an investigation is underway.
“No one is above the law, and Jordan’s safety and stability are a top priority,” he told Petra.
New report: Over 200 arrested since Bin Salman came to power
According to the Washington Post’s intelligence source, an investigation is underway into an alleged coup attempt against the incumbent king, Abdullah II. The newspaper quoted a source close to the court as saying that the background was a “threat to the country’s stability”.
Jordan is among the more stable countries in the region, and has long been an important ally of Western countries. However, the country has a potent intelligence service which, according to Reuters, has gained greater influence since the introduction of crisis laws as a result of the corona outbreak in 2020.
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