London: It may be a bit difficult to believe but 26-year-old British man from Leeds, who was on board the hijacked EgyptAir flight, actually took a photograph with his captor.
Benjamin Innes was one of the last captives to be released by Seif al-Din Mustafa during Tuesday's hijacking episode.
He took a picture with the hijacker who claimed to be wearing a suicide vest and can be seen grinning broadly in the photo.
Speaking to Sun, Ben said, "I’m not sure why I did it, I just threw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity. I figured if his bomb was real I’d nothing lose anyway, so took a chance to get a closer look at it. I got one of the cabin crew to translate for me and asked him if I could do a selfie with him. He just shrugged OK so I stood by him and smiled for the camera while a stewardess did the snap. It has to be the best selfie ever.”
The photo of Innes went viral on social media within hours.
Meanwhile, Innes, who is a Health and Safety inspector, was taken to task by security experts for risking lives of fellow passengers.
An EgyptAir flight from Alexandria to Cairo 62 people on board, was hijacked yesterday, with the man forcing the Airbus A320 to land in Larnaca, Cyprus.
Check out the pic below: (Courtesy Twitter)
— Paul Smith (@Journo_Paul) March 29, 2016
On the other hand, the man accused of hijacking the EgyptAir plane was remanded into police custody for eight days during his first court appearance today.
Police told the court in Larnaca that 58-year-old Egyptian Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa faces possible charges of hijacking, kidnapping people with the aim of taking them to an unknown destination, reckless and threatening behaviour and offences that breach the anti-terror law.
The accused did not speak in court. But as he left in a police car, he gave the victory sign to journalists attending the hearing at the courthouse, which is less than a kilometre (half a mile) away from Larnaca airport where the hijacking unfolded on Tuesday.
Mostafa, who has a Cypriot ex-wife, will not face any formal charges until a later hearing and only at that point will he be expected to enter a plea.
Cyprus authorities have described Mostafa as "psychologically unstable" and said the case was not "terrorism-related".
He is accused of forcing the plane to divert to Larnaca airport on the island's south coast on Tuesday by threatening to detonate an explosives belt that turned out to be fake.
Authorities allege that his motives were personal and related to his Cypriot ex-wife with whom he is reported to have had children.
The hijacking triggered a six-hour standoff at the airport and the closure of the main entry point for tourists to the Mediterranean resort island.
Most of the 55 passengers on the plane - originally travelling from Alexandria to Cairo - were quickly released after it had landed.
But some escaped only minutes before the standoff ended, including one uniformed man who was seen clambering out of a cockpit window and dropping to the ground.
(With Agency inputs)