Jordan in security sweep, king`s half-brother put under house arrest

Jordanian Prince Hamzah bin al-Hussein president of the Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan carries a parachute during a media event to announce the launch of

The BBC says it received the statement from Hamzah's lawyer.

It came after The Washington Post reported that the prince had been detained, while a video purporting to him under house arrest was leaked to several broadcasters.

He denied conspiracy, but accused Jordan's leaders of corruption and incompetence.

In a video statement, Hamzah said he is now not allowed to leave his home or meet with other people.

The move is thought to follow a visit by the prince to tribal leaders, where he is said to have garnered some support.

Prince Hamza, who had been groomed by his mother Queen Noor to succeed his late father King Hussein, has been pushed into the political wilderness since he was sacked as crown prince.

"Initial investigations showed these activities and movements had reached a stage that directly affected the security and stability of the country, but his majesty decided it was best to talk directly to Prince Hamza, to deal with it within the family to prevent it from being exploited", he said.

Safadi does not identify the foreign countries allegedly involved in the plot. A State Department spokesman said the USA is in touch with officials in Jordan.

Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and other regional governments also quickly expressed support for Abdullah in what was seen in part as a testament to Jordan's strategic significance in the region.

"Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander", she wrote on Twitter.

Jordan's King Abdullah II his wife Queen Rania Queen Noor mother of the groom Crown Prince Hamzah the groom his bride Princess Noor Sherif Asem bin Nayef and his ex-wife Firouzeh Vokhshouri parents of the bride attend the royal wedding on Ma
Top officials arrested in alleged plot against Jordan's King

These people, members of loosely organised opposition groups known as Herak and a vocal opposition based overseas, have in recent weeks called for protests against corruption in a country hard hit by the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, pushing unemployment to record levels and deepening poverty. It has also absorbed waves of refugees from the civil war in neighbouring Syria. The country's powerful intelligence agency has gained extra powers since the pandemic began, drawing criticism from rights groups.

While there have been no public quarrels, relations between Hazmah and his half brother King Abdullah II are thought to have been strained since the former was stripped of his title as Crown Prince in 2004.

"We touch with Jordanian officials".

He was named crown prince of Jordan in 1999 and was a favourite of King Hussein, who often described him in public as the "delight of my eye".

However, he was seen as too young and inexperienced to be named successor at the time of King Hussein's death.

Abdullah stripped his half-brother Hamzah of his title as crown prince in 2004, saying he had chose to "free" him "from the constraints of the position of crown prince in order to give you the freedom to work and undertake any mission or responsibility I entrust you with". "There are members of this family who still love this country, who care for (its people) and will put them above all else".

The state news agency said Bassem Awadallah, a US-educated long-time confidant of the king who later became minister of finance and also adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Sharif Hassan Ben Zaid, a member of the royal family, were detained along with other unnamed figures.

"We support the steps taken by King Abdullah to maintain Jordanian national security, stressing that Jordan's security and stability is a supreme Palestinian interest".

He has often found himself pitted against entrenched government bureaucracy resistant to his plans, observers say.

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