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Unearthed footage shows surreal moment man asked plane hijacker for 'selfie'

Unearthed footage shows surreal moment man asked plane hijacker for 'selfie'

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

Unearthed footage shows the bizarre moment a man asked for a selfie with the person who hijacked the plane he was travelling on.

The situation on board an EgyptAir flight en route to Cairo Airport from Borg El Arab International Airport in Alexandria took an unexpected turn back in 2016 when a man hijacked the flight, wearing what appeared to be a suicide belt.

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

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

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

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

Innes went viral in 2016 after asking for a picture with Mustafa.

Surprisingly, his motive was not to commemorate the time he was held hostage on a plane. Innes simply wanted ‘a chance to get a closer look’ at the supposed explosive device. Later it was revealed that the belt contained mobile phones and no explosives.

Still, asking for a picture with a plane hijacker who appears to be wearing a deadly explosive device is risky business.

Just as you would expect from our generation, someone was recording Innes' shenanigans taking place and the footage has been unearthed.

The clip, which was filmed from inside the plane, has shown the moment Innes went up to the hijacker and got the picture he wanted.

In the clip, the hijacker can be seen sitting with members of the flight crew before another heads over to talk to the man, who looks down the passenger compartment.

After speaking briefly, they call over Innes and the hijacker stands up to pose for the photo together, with the flight crew agreeing to hold the camera, which means the viral 'selfie' was actually a regular picture.

Innes appears to be happy with the end result and headed back to his seat, with the hijacker also sitting back down.

Recalling the exchange, Innes told The Sun: “I’m not sure why I did it. 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."

There was a five-hour standoff at Larnaca airport.

Innes, who is originally from Leeds but lives in Aberdeen, Scotland, continued: “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.”

Though Innes' selfie went viral and some even hailed him 'a hero', he also attracted lots of criticism for his stunt, with security experts slamming his actions.

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

After he 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/YouTube/Huub Hethuis via Storyful

Topics: Viral, World News