I’m sure most of you have heard about the EgyptAir Airbus A320 hijacking this morning, which took place on a flight scheduled to operate from Alexandria to Cairo. When I first heard about this I assumed the worst, given what we’ve seen in the airline industry lately. Just last year an explosion went off on a Metrojet flight departing Egypt. So while I didn’t assume it would end that badly, I figured it was an organized event which some group would try to take credit for.
Well, as it turns out the hijacker was an idiot, and not a terrorist. At least that’s what the Egyptian foreign ministry is claiming.
The hijacker, who claimed to be wearing an explosive vest, requested that the plane be diverted to Larnaca, Cyprus.
The flight was carrying 56 passengers and seven crew, and upon arriving in Larnaca many of the passengers were released. Here’s a video of that happening, where you’ll see that the passengers look quite calm:
The hijacker’s motives are still being investigated, though it seems like this may have to do with love. His ex-wife lives in Cyprus, so some officials speculate that’s why he wanted the plane diverted. Via The Irish Times:
Egypt’s civil aviation minister said the hijacker had not issued any “concrete” demands and that it was not clear whether the hijacker’s claims that he had a suicide vest were true.
There are also conflicting reports over his motive, with some saying the incident is related to his ex-wife and others reporting that he asked for the release of political prisoners in Egypt.
Cyprus’ foreign ministry on Tuesday identified the hijacker as Seif Eldin Mustafa in a tweet. It did not provide further details. The Egyptian foreign ministry reportedly said the hijacker “is not a terrorist, but an idiot”.
The man’s motivation is unclear, but Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said the hijacking was nothing to do with terrorism, while a Cyprus government official said the man “seems (to be) in love”.
Citing security sources, Cypriot state media said that the motives of the hijacker appeared personal and he had asked to contact his ex-wife, who lives in Cyprus. “It is not something which has to do with terrorism,” Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades told reporters.
That sort of reminds me of the person who called in a bomb threat when they were worried they were going to miss their flight, thinking that would be the solution. In this case, I doubt hijacking an EgyptAir plane will be the best way to see your ex-wife anytime soon. 😉
I certainly hope the above is what happened. Not that there’s such a thing as a “good hijacking,” but given recent events, I can certainly think of more devastating motives (and outcomes).
All’s well that ends well, right?