Passenger Took Selfie With Hijacker Aboard EgyptAir Flight


A 26-year-old Briton on an EgyptAir plane Tuesday did what Millennials do all the time: He took a selfie.

This wasn’t just any selfie, however. The photo included the man authorities say hijacked Ben Innes’ plane.

Innes was one of the remaining hostages during a six-hour standoff at Cyprus’ Larnaca airport, the Guardian reported. In a plot twist to an already strange incident officials say was over a woman, Innes asked Seif Eldin Mustafa, the alleged captor who claimed to be wearing a suicide belt, to pose in the photo with him.

What could go wrong?

“I figured if his bomb was real I’d nothing to lose anyway,” Ben Innes, 26, of Britain, told the British tabloid The Sun.

Mustafa, who lives in Egypt, orchestrated the plane hijacking as a way to get to his ex-wife in Cyprus, authorities said. Cypriot state media reported that he took over the Cairo-bound flight after it took off from Alexandria and had it redirected to Cyprus. When the plane touched down in Larnaca, he demanded that authorities deliver a four-page letter to his ex-wife or else he would set off his bomb belt, Cypriot state media reported.

The explosives turned out to be fake, but Innes didn’t know that when he posed for the photo. In the photograph tweeted by a Sky News reporter, Innes is seen with a wide smile beside a stoic Mustafa wearing the belt.

The hostages were later freed, and Mustafa was arrested.

Cyprus’ foreign minister said the hijacker appeared to be “psychologically unstable.” Ioannis Kasoulides said the hijacking was not an act of terrorism, “despite the fact that the individual appeared to be dangerous in terms of his behavior,” the Associated Press reported. He didn’t have explosives on him but rather empty telephone cases.

“I got one of the cabin crew to translate for me and asked him if I could do a selfie with him,” Innes, a health and safety auditor, told the Guardian. “He just shrugged OK, so I stood by him and smiled for the camera while a stewardess did the snap. It has to be the best selfie ever.”

SOURCE: Steph Solis