Hostage Passenger Takes Selfie With Airplane Hijacker

Photo of author

( — March 31, 2016) — A 26-year-old UK citizen, a hostage in the hijacked EgyptAir plane, posted on Tuesday a selfie showing him beside the hijacker, who unbuttoned his shirt exposing his explosive vest.

Ben Innes was one of the last hostages that remained on the plane after most of the people were released in a 6-hours standoff at Cyprus Larnaca Intl airport. The EgyptAir plane was diverted from its course after the hijacker demanded that the pilots land in Larnaca.

“I figured if his bomb was real I’d nothing to lose anyway,” Ben Innes, 26, from Leeds, northern England, told the British tabloid The Sun, USA Today reported.

Officials stated that it was a strange incident as the hijacker was not characterized as a terrorist, but rather a psychologically unstable person who wanted to visit his wife in Larnaca.

Reportedly, Egyptian Mustafa orchestrated the plane hijacking with a dummy explosive belt as a way to get to his ex-wife in Cyprus.

According to Cyprus state media, the route was from Alexandria to Cairo, however, rerouted to Larnaca after the hijacker threatened to activate the explosive device. When the plane landed in Larnaca, Mustafa demanded that the authorities deliver a four-page letter to his ex-wife. In return, he released most of the passengers.

The demand itself was strange enough for authorities to doubt the hijacker had suicidal intentions or that there was real explosives onboard. The Briton, however, couldn’t be sure at the time he took the selfie. Innes asked Seif Eldin Mustafa to pose in the photo with him, and he took a selfie smiling wide, as can be seen in the photo.

“I got one of the cabin crew to translate for me and asked him if I could do a selfie with him,” Innes, 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,” Innes said.

The hostages were later freed, and Mustafa was arrested.