Jordan Begins Arrests in Possible Plot Against King

Military visits former crown prince, who denies involvement but criticizes corruption
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2021 4:29 PM CDT
Jordan Begins Arrests in Possible Plot Against King
Jordan's King Abdullah II gives a speech in December in Amman.   (Yousef Allan/The Royal Hashemite Court via AP, File)

Jordan ordered scores of arrests Saturday to counter what it called "a threat to the country’s stability" and palace officials described as a broad conspiracy. The former crown prince, Hamzah bin Hussein, was ordered to not leave his home while reports of an attempt to overthrow King Abdullah II—the prince's half-brother—are being investigated. Palace officials said at least one other member of the royal family, plus tribal leaders and security officials, were involved in the plot, the Washington Post reports. Nearly 20 arrests were made, and an intelligence official said more would follow. A State Department spokesman said the US is in touch with officials in Jordan. "King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States," Ned Price said, "and he has our full support."

Jordan said the prince was not under house arrest, but military officials went to his house as the arrests were beginning, with armed officers, and told him not "to go out" or post on social media. His lawyer gave the BBC a video in which Prince Hamzah said he was not involved in any plot against the king. His visitors didn't accuse him of criticizing leaders but said he'd been in meetings in which others were critical of the government and the king, per the BBC. "I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, the corruption and for the incompetence," he said in the video, adding, "It has reached a point where no one is able to speak or express opinion on anything without being bullied, arrested, harassed and threatened." (Read more Jordan stories.)

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