On Saturday, reports from various sources coming from Jordan indicated that a complex and far-reaching plot was discovered against the ruling King Abdullah II, which included at least one other Jordanian royal as well as tribal leaders and members of the country’s political and security establishment. Among those included in the plot include the eldest son of the late King Hussein, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, and his wife, Queen Noor, who was born in the US. who were told to remain at their palace in Amman.
According to a formal statement from the Jordanian Armed Forces, multiple arrests had occurred and that although the former crown prince had not been arrested, Prince Hamzah was asked to cease all movements or activities that could be perceived as targeting Jordan’s security and stability. An article released by The Washington Post also quotes an anonymous intelligence officer stating that Prince Hamzah was advised to remain at his home as well as refrain from traveling and posting on social media until the ‘comprehensive investigations’ were completed.
On the same day, Prince Hamzah denied the allegations against him in a video statement delivered to the BBC by his lawyer, and voiced that this was an attempt to silence him for speaking out against corruption in the country. He was quoted saying: “I am not the person 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, which has been aggravated by the year”. The Prince has had strained relations with his half brother since his title was stripped from him in 2004, and has come head-to-head with him on numerous occasions over the past few years.
Officials from the Biden administration were briefed on the arrests, with US State Department spokesperson Ned Price indicating that US officials were closely following the reports and were in touch with Jordanian officials. The spokesperson was also quoted saying: “King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support”.
Chuck Freilich, a former Israeli deputy national security adviser also spoke on the issue stating that it would be a great deal of concern if the allegations turn out to be a serious attempt against King Abdullah II. “Israel takes the stability of Jordan seriously since Israel has a close security relationship with Amman”, Freilich was quoted saying.