p>An EgyptAir plane (flight MS181) flying from Alexandria to Cairo earlier today was hijacked by a passenger claiming to be wearing an explosive belt.
After further examination, the belt was dismissed to be a fake and although the hijacker's motives remain unclear but the Cypriot president said the incident was not terrorism-related.
An official at Egypt’s ministry of foreign affairs ruled out a terrorist motive, saying: “He’s not a terrorist, he’s an idiot. Terrorists are crazy but they aren’t stupid. This guy is.”
The flight MS181 had 55 passengers on board during the time it was seized and all were safely released by the hijacker. The plane was hijacked 30 minutes into its flight and in less than 1 hour, Local tv already covered the happenings showing 40 of the 55 passengers being freed.
Reports identified the hijacker as Seif Eldin Mustafa. Motive behind the hijacking remain unclear but authorities say Mustafa wanted to talk to his estranged Cypriot wife who lives on the Mediterranean island, while others said he was seeking the release of female prisoners in Egypt.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades when asked about the motive behind this responded by laughing and saying: "Always there is a woman involved."
Statement from the Egyptian civil aviation ministry said foreign nationals onboard included eight Americans, four Britons, four Dutch, two Belgians, a French national, an Italian, two Greeks and one Syrian. Three other foreigners could not be identified. The nationalities of those who remained on the plane were not given.
The Hijacker was arrested later during the day at Larnaca airport and thankfully, the remaining 15 passengers were also unharmed.
All Images: Getty