A LEEDS man became the focus of world attention after it emerged he posed for a picture with the hijacker of an Egyptian plane.
Ben Innes, 26, a health and safety officer, was aboard the EgyptAir aircraft in Cairo today when a man apparently wearing a suicide vest took control and ordered the pilot to fly to Cyprus.
Mr Innes, formerly of Oakwood, Leeds, was held hostage for hours. But incredibly, as our picture shows, an apparently relaxed Mr Innes posed for a photograph with the hijacker, Seif Eldin Mustafa.
Mr Innes now lives in Aberdeen. His mother Pauline Innes, from Selby, said: “We don’t really want to comment on what has happened until he’s home and we know he’s safe and well.
“Obviously he’s not come home yet and there are security issues to think about – we don’t want to talk about anything until it has all been resolved.”
Former York University student Mr Innes, said to be a health and safety officer based in Aberdeen, was one of four ‘foreigners’ held hostage along members of the crew during the six-hour standoff in Cyprus.
He was one of the three last remaining hostages seen running across the tarmac in the moments before Mustafa disembarked.
The captain and crew have been congratulated for how they dealt with the incident.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We are relieved that the situation at Larnaca airport has now come to a safe conclusion. We remain in close contact with the Cypriot and Egyptian authorities.”