The hijacker of a domestic EgyptAir flight with 63 passengers and crew aboard surrendered at an airport in Cyprus on Tuesday. No one was harmed, and the authentic-looking suicide vest he was wearing turned out to be fake.
For almost six hours Seif Eldin Mustafa held the world in suspense after hijacking an EgyptAir plane on a short flight from Alexandria to Cairo, then diverting it across the Mediterranean to Cyprus.
— B3zero (@B3zero) 29 mars 2016
Shortly afterwards Mustafa emerged from the aircraft, his hands above his head. He was quickly tackled by security officers, brought to the ground and arrested. Not long after pictures surfaced apparently depicting the Egyptian standing in the plane, his shirt wide open revealing his bulky “suicide belt”. Another image showed a passenger grimacing next to him. The Cypriot government spokesman later described the explosive belt as a fake.
Officials in Nicosia and Cairo expressed relief that the siege had ended without a shot being fired or blood being shed.
The incident renewed questions about airport security in Egypt, coming just months after a Russian commercial jet was downed after departing Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh airport, apparently by a terrorist bomb.