Three people were arrested in Jordan in April—including King Abdullah II’s half-brother—over a sensational attempt to overthrow the king. Now, according to a behind-the-scenes reconstruction by The Washington Post’s David Ignatius, Jordanian investigators say the alleged plotters were hoping to destabilize their own country so they could promote Jared Kushner’s grand Middle East peace deal. Bassem Awadallah, a confidant of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and one of the three prominent Jordanian men arrested, was “working to promote the ‘deal of the century’ and weaken Jordan’s position and the King’s position,” investigators said in a report obtained by the Post.
King Abdullah opposed Kushner’s deal, which normalized relations between Israel and Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, as he believed it relinquished control of the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, something he felt helped legitimize his rule. The report details the three conspirators’ frantic work over WhatsApp to bring down the king. Awadallah was arrested while trying to travel to Saudi Arabia. Hamzah is said to be under house arrest with the king.