Jordan Begins Arrests in Possible Plot Against King

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"The official media is totally silent and we know that there is much more to the story that we are not seeing".

Petra had earlier reported that two senior officials who formerly worked for the palace, along with other suspects, had been arrested for "security reasons", without providing further details.

A former royal envoy and a former confidant of King Abdullah bin al-Hussein were among those said to have been arrested, amid an ongoing investigation into an alleged attempt to unseat the monarch.

"Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander", she wrote on Twitter. "God bless and keep them safe", she tweeted.

The current crown prince is Abdullah's oldest son, Hussein, who is 26.

The pair share a father in the late King Hussein, but have different mothers.

In a statement, the Jordanian chief of staff, Major General Yusef Ahmed Al-Huneiti, appeared to corroborate the news though fell short of confirming his arrest.

Speaking in English in the video recording, passed by his lawyer to the BBC, Prince Hamza said the country's leaders were a corrupt few who put their interests above the public.

King Abdullah has ruled Jordan - which borders Israel, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia - since the 1999 death of of his father, King Hussein, who ruled the country for close to half a century.

"I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse ... and I am not responsible for the lack of faith people have in their institutions", he said.

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It has reached the point where no one is able to speak or express an opinion on anything without being bullied, arrested, harassed and threatened.

Since the news broke Saturday, #Prince_Hamzeh has trended on Twitter, along with messages of solidarity with the prince from followers in Jordan and overseas.

Mr Awadallah, an economist who was educated in the U.S., has been a confidant of the king and an influential force in Jordan's economic reforms.

Jordanian King Abdullah's half-brother and former Crown Prince Hamza bin Hussein has been told to halt actions used to target the country's "security and stability", the military said on Saturday.

Almost 20 arrests were made, and an intelligence official said more would follow. "King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support", said State Department spokesperson Ned Price in an email to CNN.

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.

Jordan's economy has been been battered by the pandemic, which has hit hard its population of 10 million people and more than 600,000 Syrian refugees.

Safadi, who also holds the title of deputy prime minister, said intelligence agents had been observing the plotters for some time and raised their concerns with the king.

Government officials were not immediately available for comment. "Its a very sad and unfortunate turn", he added.

Awadallah stepped down after coming under public criticism over alleged interference in controversial political and economic issues.

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