Gov’t says plot ‘nipped in the bud’

safadi 040421 press conference
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi at a press conference on April 4, 2021. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — The government revealed on Sunday that HRH Prince Hamzah, his inner circle, and other prominent figures were part of a conspiracy against Jordan, “successfully aborted”. اضافة اعلان

“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 His Royal Highness Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein, Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah and others, targeting the security and stability of the nation,” Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told a press conference.

Sharif Hassan bin Zaid and former minister Bassem Awadallah were arrested Saturday night, among others. Safadi put the total number of arrestees between 14 and16.

According to the government statement, Prince Hamzah over the past period communicated with community leaders, inciting them to undertake activities meant to undermine national security.

The prince contacted Bassem Awadallah who is one of the detainees at 2:22pm, sending him a recording of his meeting with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Major General Youssef Al-Huneiti, which occurred earlier in the day at the prince’s residence. The alert prompted Awadallah to try to flee, but he was arrested before his plan came to fruition, according to the official.

HRH Prince Hamzah published on Saturday two videos, one in Arabic and another in English claiming to be under house arrest.

The Cabinet statement described the move as “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.”

The investigation also revealed that one person with ties to foreign security agencies called the prince’s wife Saturday, offering a flight out of Jordan, according to Safadi.

Safadi stressed that no incumbent military leaders were implicated in the case. Deputy Premier told the media that investigations are still underway and that it will be handled “in accordance with the law and with utmost transparency.”

Experts and former officials agreed it was apparent that there was an external interference factor, but they did not point any fingers at particular states or individuals.

“The government statement included references to the existence of foreign interference with individuals inside Jordan coordinating timings and the zero hour, calling for a collective preemptive action,” said Jawad Anani, former chief of Royal Court and deputy prime minister.

Former government spokesperson and minister of state for media affairs, Mohammad Momani, highlighted Jordan’s resilience and the unity of its people.

“Jordan has proven once again that it is stronger and more resilient than ever. We were tested yesterday and we emerged stronger,” Momani told Jordan News.

“The international and regional support and solidarity that Jordan received are a testimony of its regional importance and the wisdom of the Jordanian leadership”, Momani added.

Former ambassador to the UN, Hasan Abu Nimah, underlined the “massive number of messages of support conveyed to His Majesty King Abdullah, soon after the news broke of the security operation”.

These messages, he said, “attest to the huge amount of respect, and appreciation of His Majesty’s remarkable leadership, not just in his country but regionally and internationally, in the service of world peace and security. Jordanian stability has always been recognized worldwide as key to regional stability. None of our Arab neighbors or our many international friends, allies and supporters, would want this country’s unique experiment, which is greatly admired, to be disturbed.”