Friday, 16 April, 2021

Jordan says former crown prince liaised with foreign parties in 'malicious plot'

Jordan's King Abdullah II laughs with his brother Crown Prince Hamzeh right on Monday Jordan's FM Prince Hamzah Was in Contact With'Foreign Agencies to Undermine National Security
Sandy Nunez | 04 April, 2021, 19:08

Jordan's army chief of staff says the half-brother of King Abdullah was asked to "stop some movements and activities that are being used to target Jordan's security and stability" amid the arrest of former senior officials close to the ruling monarchy.

The alleged scheme "included at least one other Jordanian royal as well as tribal leaders and members of the country's security establishment", the Post added.

Jordanian security forces had earlier arrested a former adviser to King Abdullah, a member of the royal family and others on "security-related" grounds, the Petra state news agency said.

He did not specify what such actions were.

"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. "Its a very sad and unfortunate turn", he added. The king has cultivated close relations with US and other Western leaders over the years, and Jordan was a key ally in the war against the Islamic State group.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said, "King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support".

It is now unclear what the alleged plotters had planned to do, or how close the plan was to fruition, though an intelligence officer told The Washington Post the plan was "well organised" and appeared to have "foreign ties".

These people known as the Herak have in recent weeks called for protests against corruption and the authorities had cracked down on several demonstrations, detaining dozens.

In a statement published by the state news agency, the military said the warning to Prince Hamzah was part of a broader, ongoing security investigation in which a former minister, a junior member of the royal family and unnamed others were detained.

What do we know so far?

He also attended Harvard University in the United States and has served in the Jordanian armed forces.

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One officer has died of their injuries, another is in hospital in a "stable and non-threatening condition". Biden said that he knows what a hard time it's been for the Capitol and all who work there and protect it.

Still, he said, no matter what, the Jordanians will try to keep any Saudi involvement quiet to prevent a complete rupture of ties with the powerful kingdom.

The King renewed his full and "natural" solidarity with King Abdullah II and expressed support for all of his decisions to ensure stability and security in his country.

In addition to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and Lebanon reiterated their support for King Abdullah.

Officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry have declined to comment on the situation.

Jordan's Prince Hamzah said that he was told by the head of the armed forces not to leave his house or communicate with people, in videos released to worldwide broadcasters hours after the army denied the prince was under house arrest.

Gen. Yousef Huneiti, denied media reports saying Prince Hamzah was arrested, according to Petra.

The tradition of the ruling Hashemite dynasty under the 1952 constitution gives the crown to the eldest son, but the monarch retains the option of naming a brother to be next in line.

The developments are likely to rock Jordan's image as an island of stability in the turbulent Middle East. King Abdullah removed Prince Hamza from his position as heir to the throne in 2004, in a move that consolidated his power.

Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, the former head of the Royal Household, has also been detained.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Jordanian intelligence agency has played a bigger part in public life.