Earlier in the week an EgyptAir flight scheduled to fly between Alexandria and Cairo was hijacked, and subsequently diverted to Cyprus. As it turns out, the hijacker’s ex-wife lived in Cyprus, and apparently he wanted to see her. Fortunately all the hostages were released and everyone was safe, other than the hijacker, who I assume will be serving some jail time.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of the hijacking was the photo a smiling passenger took with the hijacker. It’s not everyday you see a hostage asking for pictures with a hijacker, especially while the hijacking is still in progress.
— Jay Whatley (@JayWhatley) March 29, 2016
I assume I’m not the only one who was wondering why on earth he was doing that… and it seems we now have an answer. Ben Innes, the British passenger in the photo, appeared in a BBC interview explaining why he posed for a photo with the hijacker:
For those of you who don’t want to watch the video, it basically boils down to:
- Taking the picture was a conscious decision to try and take some control and influence their situation best he could
- The hostage wanted the hijacker to understand that he wasn’t a threat, and that if he needed to be in the hijacker’s space at a later time, the hijacker would feel comfortable around him
- The hostage wanted to see if the bomb might be real or fake, even though he has no expertise one way or another
- If worst comes to worst, he wanted his family and friends to know he died how he lived, making the best of every situation
I’m not sure I totally follow the logic, though I also can’t imagine how he must have felt being on a hijacked flight. So I certainly give him the benefit of the doubt, given the very unenviable situation he was in.
Regardless, it’s interesting to hear firsthand from the hostage on a hijacked flight!
What do you make of his reasoning of asking the hijacker for a picture?
(Tip of the hat to Mike)