Royal Family Intrigue Turns Ugly in Hashemite Kingdom
The world is waiting for more news after a busy and disturbing Saturday night in Jordan, during which an alleged coup attempt reportedly was thwarted. After initial reports that King Abdullah’s half-brother Prince Hamza bin Hussein had been arrested were denied by the kingdom’s army chief, Prince Hamza himself released an extraordinary video from his home, saying he and his family were under house arrest, blaming his brother’s administration for rampant corruption and failure of leadership, and warning that his communication lines would soon be cut off altogether. According to state media, the prince was merely investigated and ordered to halt actions compromising Jordan’s security and stability, while a number of individuals, including the king’s close adviser and a royal family member, were detained. Amman intelligence officials reportedly believe Prince Hamza, who was removed by Abdullah as heir to the throne in 2004, conspired with local protest leaders and possibly even Saudi officials to encourage mass demonstrations and unrest aimed at destabilizing the crown. Saudi Arabia, along with dozens of Arab and Western countries, released statements supporting King Abdullah as reports of the plot emerged overnight.
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