London, March 30: A day after the EgyptAir hijacking came to an end, a photo of a British passenger with the hijacker has gone viral on social media.
The British passenger has been identified as Benjamin Innes, who is from Leeds but lives in Aberdeen. He was held hostage along with 56 passengers on EgyptAir MS181 flight by hijacker Seif El Din Mustafa after the plane took off from Alexandria.
The image which went viral after Daily Mail published it shows Innes standing next to Mustafa grinning. In the picture, an explosive belt is seen tied to Mustafa's waist. The picture was taken towards the end of the hijacking episode.
However once the standoff ended officials said that the explosives belt was fake.
According to Daily Mail, Innes is believed to have approached Mustafa while being held hostage on the tarmac and sent the photo to one of his flatmates as well as other friends. Innes was one fo the eight Britons reported to be on the plane.
Cyprus authorities arrested Mustafa after he released all the passengers and crew members of EgyptAir flight. Mustafa had personal motives to hijack the plane and his actions were later linked to his ex-wife, who is a Greek-Cypriot and lives in Larnaca.
Cyprus officials who had held intense negotiations with the man said he would be interrogated at length. One Egyptian officer dubbed him "mentally unstable".
(With agency inputs)