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Prince Hamzeh, inner clique’s attempts to undermine security, stability foiled — deputy PM

14 to 16 people arrested for attempts to jeopardise safety, stability of Jordan — Safadi

By Rana Husseini - Apr 05,2021 - Last updated at Apr 05,2021

In this image grab taken from a video, Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi holds a press briefing at the Prime Ministry on Sunday

AMMAN — Prince Hamzeh and his inner clique’s scheme to undermine the security and safety of Jordan was foiled, Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said on Sunday. 

Safadi said between 14 to 16 people were arrested for attempting to jeopardise the safety and stability of Jordan.

The suspects included former minister Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan Bin Zeid.

In a press briefing held at the Prime Ministry to acquaint the public with the details of the alleged arrest of Prince Hamzeh, Safadi stressed that security agencies, through long-term and comprehensive joint investigations by the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army, the General Intelligence Department, and the Public Security Directorate, have been following activities and movements by Prince Hamzeh, Sharif Hassan Bin Zeid, Awadallah and others, targeting the security and stability of the nation.

The investigations have detected interferences and communications, including some with foreign entities, on the “ideal timing” for taking steps towards destabilising Jordan’s security, Safadi said.

Based on these investigations, security agencies recommended to His Majesty King Abdullah that these activities and those responsible for them be referred to the State Security Court, to undertake legal proceedings in light of preliminary investigations showing that these activities and movements have reached a point that directly impacts Jordan’s security and stability.

“However, His Majesty asked that there be a conversation with Prince Hamzeh to resolve the issue within the family and to get him to reconsider these activities, which target and tamper with the security of Jordan and Jordanians, and are at odds with the traditions and values of the Hashemite family. These efforts are still underway, but Jordan’s security and stability are above all else, and the necessary legal measures will be taken to safeguard them,” the deputy prime minister said.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff met with Prince Hamzeh at noon on Saturday to get this message across, asking him to cease all movements and activities that target Jordan’s security and stability. However, the prince was not responsive, and “dealt with the request in a negativity that did not heed the best interest of Jordan and its people”, he said.

“I would like to note here that initial investigations proved there was communication between Prince Hamzeh’s inner circle and external parties, including the so-called ‘external opposition’, through which allegations and messages were passed to foreign sources, aiming to employ these allegations against national security and to spread disinformation,” Safadi said.

Furthermore, these investigations revealed connections between Awadallah and the so-called “external opposition”, with the aim of utilising all previously-mentioned conversations and activities to implement transgressing plans to undermine Jordan’s stability, and to achieve goals and intentions connected to weakening the Kingdom’s firm stance on key causes, he said.

These plots were carried out in parallel with extensive activities by Prince Hamzeh over the past period to communicate with figures in the Jordanian society, seeking to push them into participating in activities that undermine national security. In addition, initial investigations showed that Prince Hamzeh was coordinating with Awadallah on his moves and activities, according to Safadi.

Investigations revealed that Prince Hamzeh, a few minutes after meeting with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at 2pm on Saturday, and specifically at 2:22pm, sent an audio recording of the meeting to Awadallah. He also sent an accompanying voice note from him in an attempt to escalate the situation, he said.

Prince Hamzeh also broadcast two recorded video messages in Arabic and English in an attempt to “distort facts and to gain sympathy domestically and internationally”. His statements revealed “the nature of his intentions and the activities he has been carrying out for some time, which include incitement and efforts to mobilise citizens against the state in a manner that threatens national security”, Safadi said.

Security agencies also detected communication between an individual with links to foreign intelligence services and Prince Hamzeh’s wife on Saturday at 3:55pm, who put his services at her disposal, offering to immediately secure a plane out of Jordan to a foreign country. This was yet another sign of the involvement of foreign parties in the suspicious activities that were thwarted to safeguard the security and stability of Jordan, the deputy prime minister said.

This is an ongoing investigation and will be dealt with in accordance with the law and with “the utmost transparency”, he said.

“We reaffirm that these activities have been addressed and contained, and the state’s agencies were able to nip them in the bud. Jordan’s security is stable and steadfast with the awareness of our people and the wise leadership of His Majesty, as well as the dedication of our security agencies. May God protect our steadfast Jordan.”

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