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Man explained why he asked for 'selfie' with plane hijacker

Man explained why he asked for 'selfie' with plane hijacker

Ben Innes decided to 'stay cheerful in the face of adversity' by asking for a snap with the hijacker

Asking for a selfie with your favorite celeb, influencer or public figure is pretty much expected in this day and age, however one man shocked the world by asking for a picture with a man who hijacked the plane on which he was traveling.

The situation on board an EgyptAir flight - number MS181 - flying from Borg El Arab International Airport in Alexandria to Cairo Airport took an unexpected turn when a man hijacked the flight while wearing what appeared to be a suicide belt.

There were 56 passengers on board, alongside several members of crew and one member of the airline’s security when the flight was diverted and landed safely at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus.

All but three passengers were initially released while the flight crew remained on board.

The A320 airbus was taken over less than 30 minutes into the flight and rerouted.

One of the passengers kept on the flight by the alleged hijacker - who was named by Cypriot officials as Seif Eldin Mustafa - was British man Ben Innes.

The health and safety auditor was 26 and living in Aberdeen at the time of the incident. He was kept onboard the plane for five hours along with the three other passengers plus four flight crew members after the plane landed in Larnaca.

So, how did Innes decide to pass the time, you ask?

While being held hostage and during what would have been a frightening time for many people, Innes decided to get a picture with Mustafa, which went viral.

His motive, surprisingly, was not because he wanted to commemorate the time he was held hostage on a plane, nor was he a fan of the person he asked to take the snap with. Innes simply wanted ‘a chance to get a closer look’ at the supposed explosive device.

There was a five-hour standoff at Larnaca airport.

“I’m not sure why I did it,” he told The Sun. “I just threw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity. I figured if his bomb was real I’d nothing to lose anyway, so took a chance to get a closer look at it."

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

Mustafa, an Egyptian national, reportedly ordered for the plane to be redirected in March 2016 to Cyprus to see his estranged wife, who lived in the country.

He eventually surrendered himself to counter-terrorism police.

One Egyptian foreign ministry official said of Mustafa: “He’s not a terrorist, he’s an idiot. Terrorists are crazy but they aren’t stupid. This guy is.”

Featured Image Credit: Ben Innes/BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images

Topics: World News, Travel, UK News