What Do We Know About the Two Men Arrested in Jordan Last Night?

Published April 4th, 2021 - 06:40 GMT
Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid
Jordanian official statements have reported the arrest of the two men late on Saturday night. (Al Bawaba)

On Saturday night, Jordanians learned the shocking news of a series of arrests that took place throughout the day in different parts of the country, as part of an attempt to foil a major security threat, two of the names that were reported by the official statement issued by security forces are relatively known to the public.

Both the former Chief of the Royal Court Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid, a member of the royal family have been arrested on Saturday, with officials linking them to "unusual security threats" to Jordan.

Despite the lack of details on how this incident is connected to the former Crown Prince of Jordan Prince Hamzah Bin Al Hussein, who has appeared in videos saying he is being put under house arrest, Jordanians have been busy digging up information about the two men who have been confirmed arrested.

Translation: "Many Jordanians have been wondering about the identity of Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid who was arrested today along with Bassem Awadallah and others. He is the son of Sharif Hasan Ibn Zayd Al Nasser, a Hashemite who lives in Saudi Arabia. He has investments in Saudi Arabia and has both Jordanian and Saudi citizenships. Previously, he was also a royal envoy to Saudi Arabia."

While very little information has been revealed about Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid, including his ties with Saudi Arabia, alleging financial investments he has in the neighboring kingdom, the internet was filled with accounts on the former royal aid currently under arrest; Bassem Awadallah.

Awadallah has been a close confidant of King Abdullah II of Jordan, as he has held a number of leading positions since the 1990s, including being the Economic Secretary to the Prime Minister of Jordan since 1992 and the Director of the Economics Department at the Royal Hashemite Court until 2001.

In 2005, Awadallah became the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation before taking the Finance department. In 2007, he became Chief of the Royal Hashemite Court.

Translation: "Nahed Hattar said it in Amman's political cafe in 2011"

He is also a board member at a number of reputable companies in the UAE, Bahrain, in addition to being the CEO of Dubai-based Tomoh Advisory. In recent years, Awadallah became a personal advisor for the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman who is often regarded as the de facto ruler of the kingdom.

Social media users have also been circulating a number of old videos and links in which Awadallah has been accused of passing financial policies that have harmed the Jordanian economy over the last 20 years, including the privatization of a number of government-owned companies that aided the country's budget.

Moreover, a video has featured the late Jordanian journalist Nahed Hattar, who was assassinated in 2016, in which he accused Awadallah of being corrupt and of being an agent for Israel in Jordan.

 


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