The security forces in Jordan arrested on Saturday a number of senior figures, among them a former advisor of King Abdullah, a member of the royal family and others "for security reasons". The Washington Post reported the news with the headline "Nearly 20 arrested in alleged plot against Jordan’s King Abdullah II".
The official Jordanian news agency, Petra, reported that the two most senior people arrested were Bassem Awadallah, formerly the king's confidant and minister of finance, and Sharif Ben Zaid, a member of the royal family. Reports that Hamza bin Hussein, the eldest son of the previous king, Hussein, and his wife Queen Noor were under house arrest in their palace were denied.
Reuters reported that Jordan's powerful intelligence services have a very strong influence on public life in Jordan, and have been very active since the passage of emergency laws following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Human rights activists expressed strong opposition to those laws, claiming they deprive citizens of political rights.
The Gulf News network reported that the arrests were carried out after extensive surveillance, and that the 20 senior figures arrested include some of the close associates and friends of Prince Hamza, the former crown prince, as well as figures from civilian and military sectors.