“In 1631 a man had the Taj Mahal built for the woman he loved. In 2016 a man hijacked an EgyptAir plane for the woman he loved.”
Cypriot foreign ministry tweets that situation has been resolved after man who hijacked flight between Alexandria and Cairo arrested in Cyprus 2.43pm BST Here’s another photo of the man believed to be the hijacker as he left the plane to surrender to authorities. 2.27pm BST Officials in Cyprus have said the supposed suicide belt worn by the hijacker was not real, Reuters has quoted Egypt’s civil aviation ministry as saying.This will partly explain how the man was able to get the item on board the plane, but raises questions about…
With the hijack over, seemingly without anyone hurt, and the man responsible in the custody of Cypriot police, here’s a final run-through of what we know:
- A man claiming to be wearing a suicide belt hijacked an EgyptAir flight from Alexandria to Cairo, forcing the pilot to divert to Larnaca in Cyprus, where he held passengers and crew hostage.
- The six-hour siege ended peacefully, with passengers and crew leaving the plane gradually. The hijacker, identified as Seif Eldin Mustafa, an Egyptian national, walked down the plane steps and was arrested.
- The motives for the hijack remain unclear. Reports and comments by the president of Cyprus suggested the man was motivated by a desire to contact his ex-wife, a Cypriot national, who was reportedly brought to the airport to talk to him. But officials said later that he was seeking the release of some female prisoners in Egypt, and to speak to EU officials.
- The foreign ministry of Cyprus said after the hijack was over that the perpetrator was “psychologically unstable”. Officials at the foreign ministry in Egypt were more blunt: “He’s not a terrorist, he’s an idiot.”
- Egyptian officials said the 55 passengers included eight Americans, four Britons, two Belgians, one Italian and four Dutch people, with the remainder Egyptian. The final part of the siege saw just seven hostages remaining, three passengers and four crew or security officials.
- Cypriot officials said later that the supposed suicide belt was a fake, During the hijack, Egypt’s civil aviation minister said that this could be the case, but the only safe option was to act as if it might be real.
- The incident is another blow to Egypt’s tourism industry, which has faced questions over air security since bombing of the Russian Metrojet airliner in October.