Uh Oh: Flight Diverts To Egypt, Activist Arrested

Uh Oh: Flight Diverts To Egypt, Activist Arrested

16

A flight from Sudan to Turkey diverted to Egypt due to a mechanical issue, and while on the ground, the Egyptian government arrested an anti-government activist. Was this a coincidence, or at least a partial repeat of that Ryanair diversion to Belarus?

Badr Airlines flight diverts to Luxor, Egypt

As reported by IFN, this incident unfolded on a January 12, 2022, Badr Airlines flight from Khartoum, Sudan (KRT), to Istanbul, Turkey (IST). Flight J4690 was operated by a Boeing 737-800 with the registration code OM-LEX. This is actually an aircraft that’s leased from Slovakian charter carrier AirExplore, which is where Badr Airlines gets multiple aircraft.

According to reports, the plane diverted to Luxor, Egypt (LXR), after the cargo hold smoke alarm went off. An inspection was performed while the plane was on the ground in Luxor, and it was confirmed that this was a glitch, with no signs of a fire.

Route from Khartoum to Istanbul

Passengers were on the ground in Luxor for around seven hours, as the initial Boeing 737 was taken out of service, while a replacement aircraft was flown in. The passengers (well, with one exception) eventually continued to Istanbul, while the following day the initial plane ended up being ferried to Bratislava, Slovakia (BTS), so that maintenance work could be performed on it.

One passenger was arrested in Egypt

Egyptian dissident Hossam Menoufy Mahmoud Sallam was on this flight from Sudan to Turkey, and was arrested when the plane diverted to Egypt. There seem to be two different narratives here.

The airline claims to have had no knowledge of the arrest ahead of time, and claims that the man was only arrested when the flight from Luxor to Istanbul eventually boarded, as part of standard ID checks:

“The company decided to send an alternative plane to Luxor to transport passengers and continue the trip. Boarding the alternative plane makes the Egyptian authorities part of the travel procedures as is in force in the aviation regulations, and this is what led to the arrest of the passenger mentioned in the means of transportation.”

Other reports suggest that the man was arrested as soon as the plane arrived in Egypt. It’s claimed that government officials escorted him and confiscated his passport, suggesting that they knew of his presence on the flight in advance.

On the surface this story sure sounds like the May 2021 incident where a Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania was forced to make an emergency landing in Belarus in order to arrest an opponent of the government.

While there are similarities between the two cases, it sounds like this might not have been quite as orchestrated:

  • There’s no indication that Egyptian officials asked the flight to divert, but rather this was requested by the crew based on an actual maintenance issue
  • Beyond that, I could see this going either way — it’s possible an ID check was just needed for passengers, and he was flagged in the system by the government, or it’s also possible that the government somehow knew he was on this flight, and was quick to arrest him when the opportunity arose

Bottom line

A Badr Airlines flight from Sudan to Turkey diverted to Egypt over a faulty indicator light. When the plane landed in Luxor, an Egyptian passenger and activist was arrested. On the surface this reminds me of the Ryanair Belarus situation, though it’s also possible that this wasn’t planned quite in that way.

What do you make of this Badr Airlines diversion to Egypt?

Conversations (16)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Jared Guest

    The line between an activist and a terrorist is defined by the ones who have and the ones who have not. Probably not the best forum to bring up this topic considering the lack of knowledge behind the sensitive topic. Such news is probably best left to professional journalism corespondents. There’s enough clickbait content out there to satisfy readership.

  2. Emily Guest

    I wonder if this article will garner more or less comments than the nonsense on the worthless and frankly unknown celebrity attempting to board a flight in basically her underwear (and ugly underwear at that too)

  3. Joey Guest

    This man is the master brain behind a terrorist organization that killed innocent people. He plotted for the assignation of multiple political figures, he led a team that bombed a children's hospital in Cairo. He is not an activist, that needs to be very clear.

    1. Aaron Guest

      Which terrorist organization? Which hospital in Cairo?

    2. Joey Guest

      The terrorist organization is called HASM, it is designated as a terrorist organization by the UK, USA, and many other countries. The hospital name is the National Cancer Institute, the attack was in 2019. This article is extremely misleading and needs to be reviewed by the author.

    3. David Diamond

      I looked up HASM, and all the news that link the person being arrested with HASM are from Egyptian news outlets, and I'm skeptical of their neutrality for good reason. Also, the HASM movements is denying involvement in the 2019 Cairo bombing you referred to, and they're not afraid to admit to killings and assassinations, so I have reservations about the claims you make as if they're facts.

  4. farnorthtrader Guest

    It seems to me that whether they grabbed him when it landed or when they were boarding again, it seems likely that the passenger manifest would have been transmitted before anyone would have been allowed off the plane, so it could still have not been planned.
    Just a note that the Chinese might very well suggest that this is not strictly the purview of corrupt "foreign" governments given that the US had Meng Wanzhou...

    It seems to me that whether they grabbed him when it landed or when they were boarding again, it seems likely that the passenger manifest would have been transmitted before anyone would have been allowed off the plane, so it could still have not been planned.
    Just a note that the Chinese might very well suggest that this is not strictly the purview of corrupt "foreign" governments given that the US had Meng Wanzhou nabbed by the Canadian government. Not exactly the same, but not exactly different either

  5. Micah Member

    Sounds very similar to the Apple TV show "Tehran" in where the Mossad works with a Jordanian airline that then fakes a plane malfunction conventionally over Iranian airspace. The plane is then forced to land in Tehran and this is how the secret agents get into the country.

  6. Santastico Guest

    Well, if you plan to be an activist against a country you should manage to stay as far as you can from it. Not even fly over it.

  7. John Guest

    First Belarus. Now Egypt. I'll never side with oppressive regimes, but you'd think these 'activists' would put just a LITTLE bit more thought into travel plans and AVOID, you know.....enemy territory!! Not expecting super sneaky 'James Bond' type evasive moves like Sudan-America-Turkey. But at least Sudan-UAE-Turkey shows more COMMON SENSE than overflying Egypt!! Sheesh......

    1. Pierre Gold

      Nothing new there... in 1956 the French forced a plane carrying Algerian independentists between Morocco and Tunisia to "reroute" via France in order to arrest them. They even gained the complicity of the Moroccan king by blackmailing to remove all aid to Morocco if he did not directly instruct the pilot (the plane was Moroccan) to fly to France instead of Tunisia.

      Nothing new under the sun.

    2. John Guest

      Thanks, boomer. You may want to pay close attention to the immediate and relevant issue at hand in 2022 instead of reminiscing on them good old 1956 jitterbug days. Just saying....

    3. AC Guest

      Read about this guy! Good for Egypt arresting him and hopefully he rots in jail the rest of his life. Also, he is lucky he was arrested instead of having a hit squad sent for him. He is a terrorist and deserves whatever he gets.

  8. Darrel O. Guest

    I would not put this past the Sudanese and Egyptian governments' orchestration. I've spent considerable time in Sudan/Khartoum, with regular trips to Egypt/Cairo, and could not begin to convey how corrupt the two nations have become--especially Sudan with its current turmoil. Often times to get anything done, a call, and subsequent payment would have to be made to get anything done, and our local office understood the nature of doing business in said countries.

    Badr...

    I would not put this past the Sudanese and Egyptian governments' orchestration. I've spent considerable time in Sudan/Khartoum, with regular trips to Egypt/Cairo, and could not begin to convey how corrupt the two nations have become--especially Sudan with its current turmoil. Often times to get anything done, a call, and subsequent payment would have to be made to get anything done, and our local office understood the nature of doing business in said countries.

    Badr is also a questionable airline, and has its roots in typical military-cronyism, and blood money, as most large companies do in Sudan.

    True shame what's going on in that country with the recent military coup. It seems they'll have a repeat of the past 30 years of bleeding the country and its resources dry. I remember my time in Sudan before the Omar Al Bashir coup, and although it's been more than 4 years since I've gone back, it saddens me to see what it has become now, and what my former colleagues who remain within the country convey, the current situation is looking very bleak, and they too have no hope for the country.

    1. Mark Fischer Guest

      Activist? He is an Islamist terrorist!

  9. AOH Guest

    This is really sad. Looks like activists will have to start taking connecting flights to avoid the air space of certain countries. Perhaps a Qatar Airways flight in this case would work? Hope he is not harmed

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

John Guest

Thanks, boomer. You may want to pay close attention to the immediate and relevant issue at hand in 2022 instead of reminiscing on them good old 1956 jitterbug days. Just saying....

0
David Diamond

I looked up HASM, and all the news that link the person being arrested with HASM are from Egyptian news outlets, and I'm skeptical of their neutrality for good reason. Also, the HASM movements is denying involvement in the 2019 Cairo bombing you referred to, and they're not afraid to admit to killings and assassinations, so I have reservations about the claims you make as if they're facts.

0
Joey Guest

The terrorist organization is called HASM, it is designated as a terrorist organization by the UK, USA, and many other countries. The hospital name is the National Cancer Institute, the attack was in 2019. This article is extremely misleading and needs to be reviewed by the author.

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT
  • September 12, 2021
  • Ben Schlappig
10
Revealed: Mystery Buyer Of VIP Boeing 747-8