Jordan In Security Sweep, King's Half-Brother Says Under «House Arrest».

Jordan In Security Sweep, King's Half-Brother Says Under 'House Arrest'

Hamzah is the eldest son of late King Hussein and his American wife Queen Noor. (FILE)

Nicosia, Cyprus:

A top former Jordanian royal aide was among several suspects arrested Saturday in a security sweep, as the army cautioned a half-brother of King Abdullah II against damaging the country's security.

Videos posted online showed a heavy police deployment in the Dabouq area near the royal palaces, while the former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein said he was confined to his home.

In a video the BBC said it obtained from his lawyer, Prince Hamzah said a number of his friends had been arrested, his security removed and his internet and phone lines cut.

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.

Official news agency Petra named former close aides to the royal family Bassem Awadallah, chief of the royal court in 2007-2008, and Sherif Hassan bin Zaid among an unspecified number of suspects arrested.

Sherif is a title given to those close to the royal family in Jordan.

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

US closely watching

Hamzah is the eldest son of late King Hussein and his American wife Queen Noor. He has good relations officially with Abdullah, his half-brother, and is a popular figure close to tribal leaders.

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.

The army denied Saturday that Prince Hamzah, who holds no official position, had been detained.

"What has been published about the arrest of Prince Hamzah is not true," said Joint Chiefs of Staff head, Major General Yousef Huneiti.

But the prince had been "asked to stop some activities that could be used to shake the stability and security of Jordan".

A country of 10 million people, Jordan's economy was already suffering before the Covid pandemic hit.

The Washington Post alleged the former crown prince was "placed under restriction" as part of a probe into an alleged plot to unseat the king.

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

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington was "closely following" the events in its close regional ally.

"We are... in touch with Jordanian officials. King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support," he said.

Upcoming centenary

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia reacted swiftly to developments in Amman.

"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.

Awadallah, a former finance and planning minister educated in the United States, was close to the king but has also been a controversial figure in Jordan.

Before becoming royal court chief in 2007, he was head of the king's cabinet in 2006.

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.

Awadallah stepped down after coming under public criticism over alleged interference in controversial political and economic issues.

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.

It declared independence in 1946, and despite having little oil wealth, severely lacking water and repeatedly being rocked by wars on its borders, the kingdom has managed to survive the regional upheavals.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
India Mourns as ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh Dies of COVID-19 Aged 91.

India Mourns as ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh Dies of COVID-19 Aged 91.

Former Indian track and field athlete, Milkha Singh died at the age of 91 due to COVID-19 complications, Friday, June 18. Singh, a four-time Asian Games gold medalist who was dubbed the “Flying Sikh,” passed away at a hospital in the north Indian ...

Supporters celebrate Raisi's victory as Iran's new president.

Supporters celebrate Raisi's victory as Iran's new president.

Supporters of Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline judge who is under U.S. sanctions for human rights abuses, celebrated on Saturday (June 19) after he became Iran's new president. Waving flags and holding posters bearing his face, supporters gathered in Teh...

Brazilians in Sao Paulo protest against Bolsonaro’s handling of Covid pandemic.

Brazilians in Sao Paulo protest against Bolsonaro’s handling of Covid pandemic.

Country’s death toll nears 500,000 as opposition to the president grows and vaccination rates remain low From Brexit breaking news to HD movie trailers, The Sun newspaper brings you the latest news videos and explainers from the UK and around the ...

Iran elects new president Ebrahim ‘The Butcher’ Raisi.

Iran elects new president Ebrahim ‘The Butcher’ Raisi.

IRANIAN hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi has won a landslide victory to be declared the country's next president - but he has a bloody history steeped in murder and executions, activists claim. Raisi - known by some as The Butcher - seemingly stormed...

Severe droughts in Western U.S. force farmers to forgo or swap crops

Severe droughts in Western U.S. force farmers to forgo or swap crops

The historic drought across the Western U.S. is forcing farmers and ranchers to downsize. Growers are being asked not to water their crops, or to plant crops that use less water. Meanwhile, ranchers are selling off herds because they can't afford ...

1.2T bipartisan infrastructure plan is ‘troublesome’: Rep. Miller-Meeks

1.2T bipartisan infrastructure plan is ‘troublesome’: Rep. Miller-Meeks

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, joins ‘Fox News Live’ to provide insight into the bipartisan infrastructure plan. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour al...

1