The Jordanian army on Saturday denied a report that two of King Abdullah II’s brothers had been arrested over contacts with Saudi Arabian officials.
The alleged arrests were said to have been directed by Abdullah after his intelligence services notified him of communications between his two brothers, as well as a cousin, with officials in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the al-Sura regional site reported.
The website said the two were held in house arrest.
Amman is reportedly frustrated with Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s new agenda, namely his desire to strip the Hashemite Kingdom of its custodianship over the Temple Mount, according to the Haaretz daily.
But in denying the arrests, Jordanian military officials said the brothers — Prince Faisal bin Hussein and Prince Ali bin Hussein — had simply “retired.”
The state-run Petra news agency said the dismissal of Abdullah’s relatives was merely part of a “restructuring” plan to make way for the king’s eldest son, Hussein, to serve a larger role in the army.
The Saudi crown prince has led a broad anti-corruption campaign which has included the arrests of 11 princes as well as some 200 other officials and business-people. US analysts believe the move may have been an attempt to push out rivals ahead of his father stepping down, the New York Times reported.