A York University graduate took a photo with the hijacker of the EgyptAir plane

26-year old Ben Innes sent messages to friends this morning


This morning, we awoke to news that an Egyptair flight bound for Cairo, had been hijacked and forced to land in Lanarca in Cyprus. Cypriot officials have since named the hijacker as an Egyptian man called Seif Eldin Mustafa, and have stated that he is “psychologically unstable”. All 62 of the passengers were released unhurt and Mustafa gave himself up. His motive has not been identified although Cypriot officials say it is not terrorism-related.

The press has printed grainy images of frightened passengers running across the tarmac away from the grounded plane. But the most notable one that has been released is a picture of 26-year old Ben Innes, who captured a picture with Mustafa while they were in the air. In it, you can see that the hijacker is wearing a belt, which appears to have explosive devices attached to it. They were later found to be fake.

Innes’ story was broken exclusively by MailOnline this afternoon.

Ben Innes selfie

Innes is from Leeds but lives in Aberdeen. He is a graduate of the University of York, where he studied environmental sciences between 2007 and 2011.

He now works as a health and safety operative for a company called TWMA, where he has worked for just over a year. He previously worked for Unilever in Leeds.

Ben LinkedIn

Ben’s LinkedIn profile picture

MailOnline reports that he sent messages, saying “You know your boy doesn’t f*** about. Turn on the news lad!!!”

It is understood that Innes approached the hijacker when he was being held hostage on the tarmac. His flatmate told MailOnline, “I have no idea why he took the selfie but I imagine he probably volunteered to take it as he’s not afraid to shy away from anything.

“I find it pretty mental but that’s just Ben I guess!”