EgyptAir Hijack Suspect Remanded for 8 Days Pending Investigation

A court in Cyprus ordered a man suspected of hijacking an EgyptAir flight and diverting it to the island nation remanded in custody for eight days pending an investigation.

He is held on suspicion of hijacking, abduction, threatening violence, terrorism-related offenses and two counts related to possession of explosives.

Egypt has asked Cyprus to extradite the man, identified as Seif Eddin Mustafa, 59 and described him as mentally unstable.

Following a tense, six hour standoff Tuesday Mustafa was arrested and admitted to Cypriot police that he acted because he had not seen his wife and children in 24 years.

All 72 passengers and crew members onboard were released unharmed

Egyptian and Cyprus officials have said the incident was not terror related.

Egyptian officials at first reported that the hijacker had threatened to blow up a suicide belt on the plane, which was headed from Alexandria to Cairo. Authorities later said the explosive belt was fake.

Most of the 55 passengers on the EgyptAir flight were quickly released after it landed in Larnaca but it took hours of negotiations, including a conversation with his ex-wife, before Mustafa surrendered.

Source: Voice of America