This innocent enough looking photo may be one of the weirdest images to spread across the Internet, once you know its context.
Upon a cursory glance it could appear to be just a normal holiday snap aboard an airplane. Possibly a father and son about to take a trip abroad, or two friends grinning at the camera. Or perhaps even the cast of a mismatched detective duo.
That is, of course, if it wasn’t for the bomb strapped across the older man’s torso. Well, fake bomb, that is.
Believe it or not, the older chap is Seif al-Din Mustafa. If you haven’t heard of Mustafa yet, it’s the guy who hijacked a domestic Egyptian flight and diverted it to Cyprus. The younger man in the photo is British tourist Ben Innes, 26 years from Leeds in the UK, who, at the moment this photo was taken, just happened to be one of Mustafa’s hostages as the plane lay on the tarmac at the airport in Cyprus.
We told you it was a weird photo.
It’s not a selfie, by the way, as lots of people have been referring to it. Mr. Innes – who works in the health and safety sector – is clearly not holding the camera. We think it’s important to stop describing every photo you’re in as a selfie.
Apparently friends of Innes from the University of York were not surprised at the photo at all.
Ben is a wild man and this is totally in character for him. He was a big rugby guy and very into his banter and didn’t have much respect for authority.
…said one friend.
We imagine Mr. Innes probably had a good idea by the time this photo was taken that the bomb strapped to the hijacker wasn’t a bomb at all. At least we hope so, otherwise Mr. Innes is even madder than anyone has given him credit for.
The entire incident went from a terrifying ordeal for everyone involved to something quite bizarre as the plane landed safely in Cyprus and hijacker Mustafa demanded to see his Cypriot former wife, before eventually releasing the majority of the hostages and then surrendering himself.
All in all, no one was hurt, thankfully. Including Mustafa, as one Egyptian official described as…
not a terrorist, he’s an idiot.