— Internet News

Jordan says former crown prince liaised with ‘foreign parties’ over plot to destabilise country

Jordan had foiled a plot to “destabilize” the kingdom involving a half-brother of King Abdullah II and arrested at least 16 suspects, said Sunday. Hamzah bin Hussein, a former crown prince stripped of that title by Abdullah in 2004, and the others had worked with foreign parties to “undermine the security” of Jordan, Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said. Hamzah, 41, had Saturday released a video message via the BBC in which he accused Jordan’s rulers of nepotism and corruption and charged that he had been placed under house arrest. Washington, Gulf allies, and the Arab League quickly stressed their support for Abdullah’s pro-Western government in Amman, seen as an anchor of stability in the Middle East.

In the message sent via a satellite link from his Amman palace, he lashed out at Jordan’s “ruling system”, saying several of his friends had been arrested, his security detail removed, and his internet and phone lines cut.

He denied being part of “any conspiracy or nefarious organization”. Still, He said the country of 10 million people had “become stymied in corruption, in nepotism, and misrule” and that nobody was allowed to criticize the authorities. State-run news agency Petra said those arrested for “security reasons” were former close aides to the royal family Bassem Awadallah, chief of the royal court in 2007-2008, and Sherif Hassan bin Zaid.

Mr. Safadi, also foreign minister, said 14 to 16 suspects had been arrested.

He said the security service monitored “contacts with foreign parties aiming to destabilize Jordan’s security,” including an alleged offer to spirit Hamzah’s wife out of the country.

Mr. Safadi declined to identify the alleged foreign parties or say what the charges were but said authorities acted because the asuspectedconspirators were “talking about timing”.

“This sedition was nipped in the bud,” Mr. Safadi said.

The USis closely watching.

Hamzah’s mother, American-born Queen Noor, defended her eldest son and the others, tweeting that she was “praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander.”

Abdullah had appointed Hamzah, a popular figure close to tribal leaders, crown prince in 1999 in line with Hussein’s dying wishes, but stripped him of the title in 2004 and gave it to his eldest son Hussein. Abdullah said he decided to “free” Hamzah from the “constraints of the position” to allow him to take on other responsibilities.

Abdullah and Hamzah have not displayed any open rivalry over the years.

Former Jordanian Crown Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein with his half-brother King Abdullah of Jordan at a funeral in Cairo, Egypt 2004.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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