Egyptian Chronicles: #EgyptAir Flight Hijacked , landed in Larnaca ... on one fine Tuesday

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

#EgyptAir Flight Hijacked , landed in Larnaca ... on one fine Tuesday

This is not the sort of news , you want to wake up in the morning to hear or to follow.
A Domestic EgyptAir Flight was hijacked from Alexandria and forced to land in Larnaca , Cyprus but the hijacker was  arrested in very strange six hours.
Thankfully , no one was hurt in that strange incident.
The reason is not what you think , it is not about ideology as much it is about love !! It took only 6 hours to be the talk of the world with that standoff
It started with estranged wife then we were speaking about prisoners in Egypt then he was arrested only to find out that he was not warning an explosive belt !!
How it all start on One Fine Tuesday or what was really confirmed :
The official Twitter account of Egypt's National Carrier of Egypt announced that its flight "MS181" was officially hijacked at 8 AM Cairo Local Time .
According to the Statement of EgyptAir, domestic flight "MS181" was hijacked while it was on its way from Borg Al-Arab airport to Cairo International airport. The 320 Airbus airplane had 81 passengers in addition to its crew.
The EgyptAir statement added the pilot Omar Gamal reported a threat from a passenger with an explosive belt who forced him to land in Larnaca.
A photo for the EgyptAir airliner in Larnaca airport
The flight landed in Larnaca International airport.
At first the media in Cyprus , that the hijacker did not have demands at first. We know nothing about him yet.
Then , we knew that there had been negotiations with the hijacker who turned to be one man only.
He allowed the release of all the passengers "Egyptians" except the crew and four foreigners according to EgyptAir

There is a lockdown in Larnaca international airport according to eyewitnesses.
Cyprus' Crisis Management center issued that statement announcing that they were coordinating with their Egyptian authorities.

Press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the hijacked EgyptAir planeRegarding the situation that is...
Posted by Κέντρο Διαχείρισης Κρίσεων ΥΠΕΞ Cyprus Crisis Management Centre-ΜFA on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I think the first thing they told our authorities about was "Please, do not send your special forces" !!
You can find why below.
Some lady entering the airplane "Reuters" 
The Hijacker and his demands 
A photo for the hijacker inside the airplane taken by one of the passengers 
Yes, one of the passengers snapped a quick photo for the hijacker.
Cyprus' State TV said at first that the hijacker only wanted to deliver a message to his Cypriote estranged wife !!!!He also asked for an asylum.
Here is a photo showing the hijacker giving allegedly a four-pages letter to a flight attendant to deliver it to his wife.
The letter allegedly was given by hijacker
to the flight attendant
His ex-wife arrived  Larnaca airport according to the Cypriot media.
The Cypriot president already is saying in sexist remarks that there was always a woman involved in the matter !!
Egypt's minister of aviation , Sherif Fathy held a press conference Tuesday afternoon where he did not reveal the identity of the hijacker or the remaining passengers still on the plane.
He said that there were seven people in addition to the hijacker including three foreigners without specifying their nationalities on the board of the Plane.
Fathy has been in the office for a week or less.
The Dutch ambassador in Egypt confirmed that one of the passengers was a Dutch citizen was on the board of the plane but he was released and thankfully he is at the embassy safe.
At 12 PM , we got Cyprus State Media saying that the Hijacker got a new demand : He wants the release of female/political prisoners in Egypt.
At 12: 47 PM CLT , both Egyptian Presidency and Cyprus' foreign ministry announced that the hijacker name is Seif El-Din Mostafa.
He seems to be older than 27 year 
After 1 PM , 4 hostages left the airplane including a person who leaped from the airplane.
That moment as captured by AP photographer
Several minutes, news came that the Cypriote special forces were ready to take an action .
Then that tweet came from Larnaca
The hijacker was arrested and that strange incident was over. Here is the video showing how he came down from the Plane.
According to the Cypriote officials , the explosive belt that hijacker used in his stunt was fake.
More info is coming this time from Cairo about an extreme troubled hijacker.
The Egyptian authorities do not hide the fact that they are glad that it was not a politically motivated hijack thankfully.
Egypt's Ministry of interior released the photos and video showing how Mostafa passed through the security check of Borg Al-Arab airport.
صور لمختطف الطائرة المصرية سيف الدين مصطفى محمد إمام وهو يجتاز الإجراءات الأمنية التفتيشية قبل إقلاع الطائرة من مطار برج العرب
Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية لوزارة الداخلية‎ on Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Here is the video showing him being inspected at the airport located in Alexandria as released by Egypt's Ministry of interior.

كافة مراحل تفتيش المتهم سيف الدين مصطفى محمد إمام فى البوابات الأمنية بمطار برج العرب بأكثر من كاميرا وزاوية مختلفة
Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية لوزارة الداخلية‎ on Tuesday, March 29, 2016
 Allegedly, he told the security officials in Borg Al-Arab airport that the belt he got with him was for medical uses.
Seif El-Din Mostafa's sister spoke about his brother on Sky News Arabic saying that his estranged Cyropite wife took their 3 children and moved to Cyprus.
She added that he was legally banned from entering Cyprus for a year. He has been unemployed for a year and he called her earlier Tuesday telling that he would see his children asking her to pray for him !!
The Egyptian ministry of interior issued a statement in English stating that Mostafa had actually a criminal record with several crimes of impersonation and burglary as well drug dealing

Press release An EgyptAir flight 181 that departed Tuesday morning from Borg El-Arab airport in Alexandria to Cairo...
Posted by ‎الصفحة الرسمية لوزارة الداخلية‎ on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Heroes 
The heroes of the day are for the professional crew of EgyptAir especially pilot Amr Gamal, the captain of the flight. Gamal is the hero of the day in Egypt.
The flight attendants are also heroes especially that lady who was helping the people to leave and to return back to the plane.

They refused to leave except all the passengers would leave.
EgyptAir was completely professional and precise in its statements more than the Egyptian government.
The new minister of aviation Sherif Fathy won the admiration of many on Tuesday on how he handled the situation and the press in the Press conference.

Of course, I can not neglect the hero of the Hijacking Selfie , 27-years British young Ben Innes who appeared on all major newspapers in his country :)

You know that the whole affair is just surreal.
Already , the whole incident since early morning has become Egypt's number memes and sarcasm sources.
Thankfully , it did not end in tragedy.
Egyptian officials and Media fail as usual 

MP Mostafa Bakry claimed at first that the hijacker was a foreigner who seeks an asylum. Egyptian media also reports the hijacker wanted to land in Turkey but because this is a domestic flight with less fuel , it landed in Cyprus.

Then the Egyptian State TV claimed that a man called Ibrahim Samaha , professor in the University of Alexandria was the hijacker according to Borg Al-Arab airport.
Dr. Samaha spoke on BBC denying the news as it turned out that he was from the freed hostages.
His wife is speaking to all Egyptian TV channels hysterically denying that he is the hijacker.
Thanks to Borg Al-Arab airport , Ibrahim Samaha's name is locally and internationally trending.
Nevertheless, it is confirmed that we got one hijacker of Egyptian origin who wants to speak to his estranged wife.

Bad memories 
This is another blow to Egypt and tourism sector. This blows all the effort the Egyptian aviation authorities are doing to prove to the world that the Egyptian airports are safe.
Now , we got an incident where a hijacker threats to blow up an airplane with an explosive belt !!! Explosive belt and now everyone is asking how the hell he got on the plane with an explosive belt from Borg Al-Arab airport !!!
Of course, it is proved to fake belt , the question was ringing like an alarming bell for hours.
Already the Egyptian Prosecution has started investigations summoning the Borg Al-Arab airport officials.
Larnaca International airport is associated with very bad memories related to hijacking EgyptAir Flights for Egyptians.

It is associated with an infamous hijacking incident of February 1978 and the unauthorized Egyptian Special forces raid on the Larnaca International airport in order to release the hostages. It turned to be a fiasco and caused a huge embarrassment to Egypt.

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