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Published on : Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Ben Innes, 26, was one of three passengers and four crew members held to the end of a hostage siege, after Seif Eldin Mustafa hijacked the EgyptAir flight bound for Cairo from Alexandria and forced it to be redirected to Cyprus. He is a health and safety auditor from Leeds, living in Aberdeen and was returning home on a business trip when flight MS181 was seized.
According to Ben, he wanted to take “a closer look” at the apparent explosives belt and went on saying that “I figured if his bomb was real I’d nothing to lose anyway.” He was amongst the last passengers to be released by Mustafa.
Ben posed the image on Twitter with a message and the conversation followed which can now be, without a doubt, termed as ridiculous.
Ben is believed to have approached Mustafa while being held hostage on the tarmac and sent the photo to one of his flatmates as well as other friends.
Social media went wild over the photo with the hijacker and several Twitter users lauded the British man for the “daring“ selfie.
The image has been widely described as a “selfie”, but Innes’ mother Pauline Innes argued that it was clear her son did not take the image himself.
Mustafa had personal motives to hijack the plane and his action was later linked to his ex-wife, who is a Greek-Cypriot and lives in Larnaca.
As 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.”