King's half-brother under 'house arrest' in Jordan security sweep

Jordan officials held after ‘coup attempt

Also swept up in the dragnet - according to observers and activists on social media - was Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, one-time crown prince and stepbrother to Jordan's King Abdullah II.

Through the video Prince Hamzah denied any wrongdoing and said he was not part of any conspiracy.

This is a very sad and unfortunate turn for a country that as I said used to be in the forefront of the region.

Prince Hamza is not seen as a major threat to Jordan's monarchy and has been marginalised for years, but the move against him represents the first such incident involving a close member of the royal family since King Abdullah came to the throne.

Since then a number of the people I know, or my friends, have been arrested, my security has been removed, and the internet and phone lines have been cut.

"This is my last form of communication, satellite internet", he said, adding that the company told him it was instructed to cut it as well.

In the statement, Prince Hamzah said he was told he was being punished for taking in part in meetings in which the king had been criticised, though he himself was not accused of being a direct critic.

Jordanian security forces had earlier arrested a former adviser to King Abdullah, a member of the royal family and others on "security-related" grounds, the Petra state news agency said.

Army chief Yusef Huneity denied reports that Prince Hamza had been arrested but said he was told to "stop activities that are being exploited to target Jordan's security and stability".

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The man received his vaccine dose on March 22. "We are taking this very seriously", Professor Kidd said on Friday afternoon. The European Medicines Agency said its safety committee will probably issue an updated recommendation next week.

Huneiti said that investigations are underway, affirming that the disclosure of the results will be made in a clear and transparent manner.

Petra, the official state news agency, reported that Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Basem Ibrahim Awadallah, a former head of the royal court who formerly served as finance minister and planning minister, are among those detained "for security reasons".

The state news agency identified two of those detained: Bassem Awadallah, a US -educated longtime confidant of the king who later became minister of finance and an adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family.

The agency did not provide further details or name the others who were arrested.

"We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials", U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in an email Saturday.

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the half-brother of Jordan's King Abdullah II, recorded a five-minute video from his palace in Amman on Saturday.

According to BBC, Prince Hamzah, the half-brother of King Abdullah, was the late King Hussein's favorite son from his favorite wife, American-born Queen Noor. Since then, King Abdullah has been a top USA ally, often allowing US troops to stage operations from Jordanian territory and participating in the anti-Islamic State campaign. It borders Israel, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

Jordan's economy has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic. "Unfortunately, this country has become stymied in nepotism, in corruption, and in misrule and the result has been the destruction or the loss of hope that is apparent in pretty much every Jordanian", he said. Jordan is home to more than 2 million Palestinian refugees, most of whom have Jordanian citizenship.

King Hussein used to refer to Prince Hamzah as "the delight of my eye" and named him crown prince in 1999.

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