The hijacker who seized control of an Egyptian airliner has been arrested after surrendering to counter-terrorism police following a six-hour standoff at Cyprus’ Larnaca airport.
Authorities have identified the man as Egyptian national Seif Eldin Mohamed Mustafa, who hijacked the domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo on Tuesday and forced pilots to divert to Cyprus. The hijacker threatened to blow up the plane with explosives on his belt, which have since been confirmed as fake.
“From the search of the aircraft, no explosives were found – not on the 59-year-old suspect, nor on the aircraft itself,” said Cyprus police spokesman Andreas Angelides.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said he believes the hijacking was “not terrorism-related”, although Mustafa’s motives still remain unclear.
“This is not about terrorism,” said the foreign ministry’s permanent secretary Alexandros Zenon. “This is about the individual action of a person who is psychologically unstable.”
All 55 passengers and seven crew who were on board EgyptAir flight MS181 are safe. – Josh Chahal
Screen grab of EgyptAir hijacker Seif Eldin Mohamed Mustafa leaving the plane from BBC News.