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Thu, Mar 31, 2016

Egyptair Hijacker Taken Into Custody, Charged

Used Explosives Belt Threat To Commandeer Airliner

The man who hijacked an Egyptair airliner on a flight from Alexandria to Cairo diverting it to Cyprus has been taken into custody and charged with a variety of crimes, according to the Cyprus government.

CNN reports that the hijacker used a fake explosives belt to hold the flight crew hostage. The plane landed safely in Cyprus, and the passenger were all released unharmed, according to the report.

The hijacker, identified as Seif El Din Mustafa of Egypt, was described by officials as "unstable" and having a criminal record. He apparently hijacked the airliner over issues with his ex-wife, a citizen of Cyprus.

"The hijacker has just been arrested," Cyprus government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said on Twitter. A few minutes later, Christodoulides added "All passengers and crew are safe."

Mustafa has been charged in Cyprus with hijacking, kidnapping, threatening violence, threatening use of explosives and civil aviation law violations, according to Cyprus police.

Authorities said that Mustafa confessed to the crimes in court Wednesday, saying that admitting to the crimes before a judge amounts to a guilty plea.

Egypt has reportedly asked that Mustafa be returned to that country.

(Image from file. Not incident airplane)

FMI: http://www.police.gov.cy/police/police.nsf/index_en/index_en?OpenDocument

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