Jordan says it has foiled a plot by a former crown prince to destabilize the kingdom. The government maintains Hamzah bin Hussein and others were undermining security with the help of foreign powers. As many as twenty high level officials have been arrested. Hamzah denies being part of a conspiracy, and says he is being silenced.
According to Jordan security officials, the King's half-brother had been under investigation for some time. The country's foreign minister said the former crown prince was trying to mobilize tribal leaders against the government - with support from abroad. Sixteen people, including a former adviser to King Abdullah and another member of the royal family were arrested.
The military initially denied arresting Hamzah bin Hussein - but said it had issued him a warning for his actions. But in a video statement sent to media on Saturday Prince Hamzah claimed he had been placed under house arrest for associating with critics of the royal family.
Though he no longer holds an official title, Hamzah remains a popular figure in the country.And many see stability in King Abdullah the second. He has enjoyed widespread popularity during his reign.
Jordan is widely seen as an island of calm in a troubled region - strategically located between Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The US, UK and several Arab nations have all expressed their full support for the reigning monarch.
But COVID-19 has hit the country's economy hard. Unemployment and poverty is on the rise, stoking domestic discontent.
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