Jordan Arrests High-Profile Figures, Citing Security Reasons

AMMAN, Jordan — The Jordanian government has arrested a number of high-profile figures in the kingdom, including a member of the royal family and a former chief of the royal court, for “security reasons,” the Petra state news agency said on Saturday.

Among those arrested were Bassem Awadallah, a longtime confidante of King Abdullah II who later became minister of finance, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family. They were detained along with a number of other people, the report said.

Mr. Awadallah had helped spearhead economic reforms before leaving as head of the royal court in 2008.

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, Syria and Iraq.

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