Cyprus plane hijacker arrested, official says ‘it’s over’

UPDATE: [Cairo local time]

5:40 PM — Cyprus’ foreign minister says the Egyptian who hijacked a domestic EgyptAir flight and diverted it to the island nation appeared to be “psychologically unstable.”

Ioannis Kasoulides tells reporters it was clear from the beginning of the hijacking on Tuesday that it was not an act of terrorism, “despite the fact that the individual appeared to be dangerous in terms of his behavior.”

The hijacker surrendered and was arrested after several hours, and all passengers and crew left the plane unharmed.

Kasoulides says the hijacker made several demands, including the release of Egyptian female prisoners, but that “his demands made no sense or were too incoherent to be taken seriously.”

He says the hijacker also asked to speak to his ex-wife, a Cypriot woman, and wanted to deliver a letter to her. Kasoulides says the contents of the letter “were also incoherent.”

Egyptian Ambassador Hussein Abdelkarim Mubarak, appearing at the same press conference, praised the close coordination between the two countries and says the hijacker was psychologically unstable and had “family problems.”


LARNACA, Cyprus (AP) — A tweet by the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the man who hijacked an Egyptian airplane has been arrested.

Officials say a man threatening to have explosives forced EgyptAir flight MS181 traveling from the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria to the capital, Cairo, to land in Larnaca, Cyprus. Officials identified the hijacker as dual American-Egyptian citizen Seif Eldin Mustafa. Hostage negotiators say Mustafa may have hijacked the plane in an attempt to force contact with his ex wife.

Mustafa released women and children from the plane upon it’s arrival. He later released the rest of the passengers except for four crew members and three foreign travelers.

The latest report says seven more people got off the hijacked Egypt plane. Video shows one man climbing out of the cockpit window.

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