Amman, [Jordan], April 4 (ANI): Jordan's former crown prince and half brother of King Abdullah II, on Saturday claimed he has been placed under house arrest amid a series of arrests in the kingdom of several high ranking people, including a member of the royal family and a longtime confidant of the monarch.
In a video, the former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein described how he had been ordered to remain in his home incommunicado with his wife and children, reported New York Times.
"Since then, a number of the people I know -- or my friends -- have been arrested, my security has been removed, and the internet and phone lines have been cut," the former crown prince of Jordan said.
Prince Hamzah added: "this is my last form of communication, satellite internet, that I have, and I have been informed by the company that they are instructed to cut it so it may be the last time I am able to communicate."
Malik R. Dahlan, an international lawyer, confirmed to the New York Times, that the video was of Prince Hamzah, who serves on the board of his Institution Quraysh for Law & Policy in London, and expressed concern about "the escalation of the situation."
Prince Hamzah said in the video that he was "making this recording to make it clear that I'm not part of any conspiracy or nefarious organization or foreign-backed group, as is always the claim here for anyone who speaks out," he said.
The Washington Post reported that as many as 20 people were arrested by Jordanian Police who sought to restrain the movement of Prince Hamzah amid what officials called a threat to the "security and stability" of Jordan
"The move followed the discovery of what officials described as a complex and far-reaching plot that included at least one other Jordanian royal as well as tribal leaders and members of the country's political and security establishment. One official cited unspecified evidence of "foreign" backing for the plan," the Post reported.
The Post quoted a statement by the Jordanian Armed Forces which confirmed the multiple arrests and said that Prince Hamzah had been "asked to cease all movements or activities that could be employed to target Jordan's security and stability."
Arrests of top officials and royal family members are unusual in Jordan, a normally stable Arab kingdom that has been a stalwart ally of the West, particularly when it comes to counterterrorism cooperation in the Middle East. It borders Israel, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Syria and Iraq, the Post reported.
The arrested aides include Hassan bin Zaid, a member of Jordan's royal family and envoy to Saudi Arabia, and Basem Ibrahim Awadallah, a long time confidante of King Abdullah. The two senior palace officials and the unnamed "others" were reportedly arrested for security reasons after a "close security follow-up."
Jordan is regarded as a vital ally of the United States in the Middle East and has been a major partner in the US-led campaign against the Islamic State.
The US State Department on Saturday said "We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials," Ned Price, a State Department spokesman, said in a statement. "King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support."
Saudi Arabia and Egypt too have expressed their support to King Abdullah. (ANI)