Jordan in security sweep, king`s half-brother put under house arrest

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

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein was escorted from his Amman palace amid an ongoing probe into a "threat to the country's stability", The Washington Post reported, citing a senior Middle East intelligence official.

He said his security detail was removed, and his phone and internet service had been cut and while he was speaking over satellite internet he expected that service to be cut as well.

In the video, he blamed the country's leaders of being 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".

The pair were detained for "security reasons", Petra said, quoting a security source.

In a video that has gone viral, Hamzah is seen denying the allegations and overtly criticizing the policies of Jordanian authorities.

"Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander. God bless and keep them safe", tweeted his American-born mother, Queen Noor Sunday.

In early 2018, as then-President Donald Trump was threatening to cut aid to countries that did not support US policies, the administration boosted assistance to Jordan by more than $1 billion over five years.

Arrests of top officials close to royal family members are rare in Jordan.

"The kingdom stresses its full support for the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. and for the decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Hussein to safeguard security and stability", it said.

In a separate statement, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said Jordan's stability and prosperity was the "basis for the stability and prosperity of the whole region" and vowed "firm and lasting" support for it.

The half-brother of Jordan's head of state King Abdullah II is believed to have been placed under house arrest amid reports of an alleged coup attempt.

"We are closely following the reports and are in touch with Jordanian officials".

A growing list of Arab countries have voiced their support for King Abdullah.

He emphasised that the safety and stability of Jordan are a top priority, adding that needed measures will be taken to safeguard the country.

"Jordan's security and safety is a fundamental basis for the security and safety of the Arab world", Lebanese Prime Minister designate Saad al Hariri said on Twitter.

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

The US State Department said on Saturday that King Abdullah is a "key partner" of the US.

Security forces in Jordan are understood to have detained almost 20 people in total, including a former adviser to the head of state, on "security related grounds".

Multiple countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United States, have expressed strong support for the king.

Whatever damage the crisis might have inside Jordan, however, appeared to have little immediate effect on outside support for Abdullah.

He added that security forces sent a recommendation to King Abdullah to refer the case to the State Security Court. He commands a loyal following in Amman and, with his trim mustache and checkered keffiyeh headdress, often styles himself after his father, the late King Hussein, a revered figure in Jordan. Abdullah has cultivated close relations with USA and other Western leaders over the years, and Jordan was a key ally in the war against the Islamic State group.

Abdullah had appointed Hamzah crown prince in 1999 in line with Hussein's dying wish, but in 2004 stripped him of the title and gave it to his own eldest son Hussein.



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