On April 3, a number of members of King Abdullah II inner circle and high-ranking officers of the Jordanian army and tribal leaders were detained in the Jordanian capital, Amman, “for security reasons.” Among the detainees is former Crown Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the eldest son of the late King Hussein by his American-born fourth wife, Queen Noor. Prince Hamzah was Crown Prince of Jordan for four years, but the title was eventually passed on in 2004 to Abdullah II’s eldest son, Hussein, who is now 26.
In addition to Prince Hamzah, a member of the royal family — former head of the royal court Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid and former adviser to King Abdullah II and Minister of Finance Bassem Awadallah were also detained.
The pan-Arab TV channel Al-Mayadeen, publicizing these facts, reported “the discovery of a plot in Amman to remove Abdullah II from power” and the arrest of about 20 people as part of an investigation into “the threat to the stability of the country.”
The Washington Post also reported, citing a senior Jordanian intelligence official, that authorities in the kingdom are allegedly investigating a supposed plot to overthrow King Abdullah II, and believe that at least one other member of the royal family, as well as tribal leaders and members of the country’s security forces, were involved. Law enforcers speculate that the Crown Prince was one of the authors of the plan to overthrow King Abdullah II. Additional detentions are expected. An intelligence spokesman described the plan as “well-organized” and said that the conspirators apparently had “foreign connections,” but would not go into detail.
However, the Jordanian news agency Petra denies the arrest of Prince Hamzah, and a statement released by the agency by Major General Yousef Ahmad al-Huneyti, head of Jordan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, states that Prince Hamzah was asked to stop “actions that are used to attack Jordan’s security.”
The Secretary General of the Jordanian opposition coalition, Mudar Zahran, claims that the Jordanian military intelligence has already questioned Hamzah and presented him with evidence that he was funding a radical Palestinian terrorist group whose aim was a violent coup d’etat. Several members of the group are noted to be in Europe and their activities are monitored by the Jordanian intelligence services.