Foiled attempt to unseat Jordan’s king leads to a series of arrests

Amman, April 5 2021: The alleged attempt to over-throw the Jordanian king, Abdullah II, over the weekend, by his half-brother, Hamzah bin Hussein, whom the former stripped of the title of crown prince was “a serious attempt to undermine the security of Jordan” according to the deputy PM and Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi.

The authorities have in custody 16 suspects and insinuate foreign involvement. The US along with the GCC avowed their support for Abdullah while the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi affirmed his solidarity with Jordan. He expressed “complete support of the recent decisions (he) has taken to ensure the stability and security of the kingdom”, according to a presidency statement.

The accused, Hamzah, meanwhile, recorded a video message broadcasted via the BBC in which he rigorously denied the allegations and said he had been put under house arrest without reason and also that his privileges had been stripped and his friends arrested. He also shared his view that Jordan’s ruling system was full of corruption and nepotism and that criticism was not tolerated.

Those arrested include, former aides to the royal family, Bassem Awadallah, and Sherif Hassan bin Zaid. Safadi, said foreign actors were involved in planning to destabilize the country but refused to identify the parties involved.

Hamzah is the eldest son of American born Queen Noor and the late king Hussein. He was appointed the crown prince by Abdullah as per his father’s dying wish but later stripped of the title. According to sources, he had recently been more critical of the government and was harbouring resentment from losing the title of crown price which is now held by Abdullah’s son Hussein.

Queen Noor, meanwhile, took to Twitter to defend her son and said she will pray for justice to prevail and the perpetrators of this “slander” to be exposed.

Major General Yousef Huneiti, head of Jordan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Hamzah had not been detained, but merely asked to stop doing some things that threatened the stability of the country. Those under suspicion include one other royal and some tribal leaders.

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