Global Independent Analytics

EgyptAir hijack: Man surrenders at Larnaca airport

The hijack of a domestic Egyptian flight that caused it to be diverted to Cyprus has ended with all hostages released and the hijacker surrendering.

BBC News reporting: EgyptAir Flight MS181 was stolen by a passenger who was believed to be wearing a suicide explosive belt this morning. Right now, it’s been confirmed by the Cypriot authorities that this belt was a fake.

Egyptian officials identified him as Seifedeen Mustafa. His surname that was presented earlier was wrong.

His motives, while being unclear at first, have been revealed by Cyprus officials. The country's president Nicos Anastasiades insisted it was not terrorism, with another government official saying the man "seems (to be) in love."

The Cypriot government has also denied earlier reports from state TV that he demanded the release of women prisoners in Egypt.

In reality, he demanded a meeting with his ex-wife, giving negotiators the name of a woman who lives in Cyprus and asking to give her an envelope. Witnesses told state TV he tossed a letter for the woman onto the tarmac.

“He’s not a terrorist, he’s an idiot,” Egypt’s foreign ministry replied to a question raised by a Cairo-based journalist.

“Terrorists are crazy but they aren’t stupid. This guy is.”

One specific photo got a big chunk of attention online, on which the hijacker is posing for a selfie with another man onboard.

Everyone person on board was released, nobody got hurt.

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

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