A man taken hostage during a flight to Cairo took his chances with the bomb vest-wearing terrorist on board and snapped a photo with him.
Ben Innes, 26, was one of 55 passengers aboard the EgyptAir flight and bagged a photo with his captor, Seif Eldin Mustafa, when the plane landed in Cyprus after Eldin demanded it be redirected. Pilots obliged with the redirection request for fear he would blow up the plane.
Once landing in Cyrpus, hijacker Eldin released all but seven of his 55 hostages. Three passengers and four members of the plane crew were left behind when Ben decided to ask for a cheeky photo.
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Ben took his chances and walked right up to the hijacker and asked him for a selfie. Surprisingly enough, Eldin accepted.
The image has since made the rounds once more – a grinning Ben with a rather bemused-looking Eldin – who was later arrested. It turned out the bomb vest strapped to his person was a fake.
But Ben did not know this before walking up to the hijacker and when asked why he posed for the photo with Eldin, he said he was trying to remain optimistic in the face of a potential crisis.
He believed either it would be a nice photo if he survived and if not – there was nothing to lose anyway, UniLad reported. Ben later revealed he had hoped to "get a closer look" at the supposed explosive device.
Speaking to The Sun at the time of the incident, he said: "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 to 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."
Later comments from the Egyptian foreign ministry on Eldin's hijacking attempt read: "He’s not a terrorist, he’s an idiot. Terrorists are crazy but they aren’t stupid. This guy is."
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