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Jordanian foreign minister: 'Malicious plot' by prince foiled at 'zero hour'

Jordanian officials said Sunday they had contained a coup attempt by a former crown prince and half-brother of the nation's leader, King Abdullah.

The country's foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, said at a press conference a plot to destabilize the country hatched by Prince Hamza bin Hussein, who was a crown prince until the king rescinded his title in 2004, had been foiled at the "zero hour, according to The Associated Press

“When they [security officials] intercepted certain communications speaking about a zero hour, then it was clear that [Hamza and others had] moved from designs and planning to action,” foreign minister Safadi said. “As a result, it was necessary for the security and intelligence apparatuses to move to throttle at birth this malicious plot.”

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“Initial investigations showed these activities and movements had reached a stage that directly affected the security and stability of the country, but his majesty decided it was best to talk directly to Prince Hamza, to deal with it within the family,” added Safadi, according to Reuters.

A State Department spokesperson told The Hill that King Abdullah had the U.S.'s "full support" in an emailed statement.

“We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials. King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support," they said.

Hamza, who had spoken out repeatedly against the country's governance, was placed under house arrest, he said in a Facebook post according to multiple news reports, and has continued to levy accusations of corruption against the country's ruling class while not naming the king specifically.

Queen Noor, Hamza's mother and widow of the previous king, defended her son in a statement on Twitter.

"Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander. God bless and keep them safe," she tweeted.

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--Updated at 6:10 p.m. on 4/5/2021