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Mother Of Hijack Selfie Man Ben Innes Calls Son 'Stupid' For Photo On EgyptAir Flight

Mrs Innes is far from impressed.

31/03/2016 10:15 | Updated 01 April 2016

The mother of British hostage Ben Innes, who was photographed with the Egyptian plane hijacker wearing a "suicide vest", has branded her son's actions "stupid".

Pauline Innes scolded her son as he arrived back in the UK less than 48 hours after the image emerged of him stood grinning next to a man who claimed to have smuggled a bomb belt on board.

The health and safety auditor from Leeds was one of 72 passengers and crew taken hostage by Seif Eddin Mustafa soon after their EgyptAir flight took off from Alexandria on Tuesday.

His decision to pose for the picture, which was printed on several newspaper front pages, has attracted criticism.

As Innes was collected by his mother from Manchester Airport late on Wednesday she said "I don't know why you did it," according to The Sun.

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His homecoming was far from smooth however as he was filmed snatching a phone from an ITV camerawoman which you can watch here.

Mustafa, 59, is understood to have revealed the fake suicide belt soon after the flight to Cairo took off, triggering an emergency diversion to Cyprus.

Meanwhile Innes is said to have contacted his mother soon after the drama began to reassure her he would keep a low profile, the Press Association reports.

However, at some point during the five-hour stand-off, the 26-year-old decided to "throw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity" and pose for a picture with his captor.

The snap, in which the hijacker can be seen wearing a khaki-coloured fabric belt with a series of pouches wired together, went viral after it was posted on social media.

"Mum was very upset seeing me, but I made it safe and sound," he told the newspaper as he arrived back in the UK.

"The past two days have been crazy, unbelievable. But I'm here now and things can get back to normal. I'll be relaxing at home with Mum," he added.

Mrs Innes told The Sun that he had not posed for a "selfie" with the hijacker, who was described as "psychologically unstable" by Cypriot officials.

"You can clearly see that it is not Ben who is taking the picture," she said.

On Wednesday a picture of another hostage posing with Mustafa emerged. It appeared to show an air stewardess, named in reports as Naira Atef, smiling and standing next to him.

In an article on social media for the Daily Mail, broadcaster John Humphrys questioned Innes's decision to pose for the snap.

He wrote: "The photo was the perfect demonstration of this strange new urge to be the star of your own social media show, even in a situation when minutes earlier people thought they were going to die."

The Cypriot court ordered Mustafa to be detained for eight days as he faces charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives, kidnapping and threats to commit violence.

The incident comes just five months after 224 people were killed when a Russian aircraft crashed over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula minutes after it took off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Bizarre Happenings On EgyptAir Plane

  • 1 A frozen chicken fiasco
    Nataliya Lukhanina via Getty Images
    AbdAllah El Ashmawy, a lecturer in orthopaedic surgery, says he was on board the plane while it was hijacked.

    In a post on Facebook, he said: “A third passenger managed to keep a frozen chicken (baladi as he says) all the way till they found it in his handbag while boarding on our last plane back to Cairo and he was so angry they are taking his [chicken] so the security guard, to end this funny discussion, told him they will put it in the fridge for him, leaving him shouting “you let an explosive vest on board but don’t allow my chicken”.
  • 2 A confused sleepyhead
    Meinzahn via Getty Images
    Ashmawy said that one passenger woke up and couldn't get his head around the fact that the plane would be diverted to Cyprus.

    He said: “Another lovely guy was sleeping and woke up to be informed we are landing in Cyprus and his funny response was “why Cyprus ??!..I will miss my connection”..what connection my son - we are all going to die hahah.”
  • 3 A secret bank account
    ColorBlind via Getty Images
    Ashmawy said that he heard a man calling his wife to tell her about some he had hidden away.

    He added: "The funniest part is his wife forgetting about the hijack thing and asking him to repeat the bank name."
  • 4 The man keeping everyone in the loop
    Westend61 via Getty Images
    Ashmawy said that one passenger proceeded to call what seemed like every person in his phonebook to let them know what was happening.

    He said: “A lovely Egyptian chap decided to call all his family and friends one by one in the middle of the hijacked plane when we were about to land to Cyprus and in a very loud voice “I’ve been kidnapped Mohamed, I’ve been kidnapped Fatma, etc lol).
  • 5 The 'best selfie ever'
    Twitter
    British passenger Ben Innes asked if he could have a picture taken with Seif El Din Mustafa.

    The health and safety auditor told The Sun newspaper: “I’m not sure why I did it, I just threw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity.”

    Innes said that if the bomb was real then he would have nothing to “lose”, so he “took a chance to get a closer look at it”.

EgyptAir Hijacking

  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa, an Egyptian man who hijacked an EgyptAir passenger plane the previous day and forced it to divert to Cyprus demanding to see his ex-wife, is brought by policeman to the court in Larnaca on March 30, 2016. The six-hour airport standoff ended peacefully. The hijacker, described by officials as 'unstable', had claimed to be wearing a bomb belt but no explosives were discovered after he gave himself up at Larnaca airport and was arrested. / AFP / GEORGE MICHAEL (Photo credit should read GEORGE MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa (C) forced the plane to divert to Cyprus demanding to see his ex-wife.
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa, an Egyptian man who hijacked an EgyptAir passenger plane the previous day and forced it to divert to Cyprus demanding to see his ex-wife, flashes the 'V' for victory sign as he leaves the court in Larnaca in a police car on March 30, 2016. Mostafa was remanded into police custody for eight days during his first court appearance. Police told the court that 58-year-old Egyptian national faces possible charges of hijacking, kidnapping people with the aim of taking them to an unknown destination, reckless and threatening behaviour and offences that breach the anti-terror law. / AFP / GEORGE MICHAEL (Photo credit should read GEORGE MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    A man thought to be the hijacker leaves the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    A man thought to be the hijacker leaves the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A man leaves the hijacked aircraft of EgyptAir from the pilot's window after landing at Larnaca airport.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A man leaves the hijacked aircraft.
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    The remaining passengers on the highjacked EgyptAir Airbus A-320, which was diverted to Cyprus, run on the tarmac after leaving the plane.
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    The remaining passengers on the highjacked EgyptAir Airbus A-320, which was diverted to Cyprus, run on the tarmac after leaving the plane as the highjacker surrendered to security forces.
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    The remaining passengers on the highjacked EgyptAir Airbus A-320, which was diverted to Cyprus, run on the tarmac.
  • GEORGE MICHAEL via Getty Images
    The remaining passengers on the highjacked EgyptAir Airbus A-320 run on the tarmac.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    An official boards a hijacked Egyptair A320 Airbus at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus.
  • FameFlynet.uk.com
    General View of EgyptAir flight from Alexandria's Burg Al-Arab airport to Cairo.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    A policeman stands guard at Larnaca Airport.
  • Petros Karadjias/AP
    Cyprus police officers escort EgyptAir plane hijacking suspect Seif Eddin Mustafa, third right, to a court for a remand hearing as authorities investigate him on charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives and abduction in the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca Wednesday, March 30, 2016. 
  • STR via Getty Images
    An Egypt Air Airbus A-320 sits on the tarmac.
  • STR via Getty Images
    An Egypt Air Airbus A-320 sits on the tarmac.
  • BEHROUZ MEHRI via Getty Images
    Cypriot policemen stand guard in the vicinity of Larnaca airport where an EgyptAir Airbus A-320 (R) sits on the tarmac.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    A hijacked Egypt Air A320 airbus stands on the runway at Larnaca Airport.
  • Petros Karadjias/AP
    A passenger leaves a hijacked EgyptAir aircraft after landing at Larnaca Airport.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    Passengers and crew leave the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    Police stand guard at Larnaca Airport near a hijacked Egypt Air Airbus A320 , March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
  • STR via Getty Images
    An Egypt Air Airbus A-320 sits on the tarmac of Larnaca aiport after it was hijacked.
  • STR via Getty Images
    An Egypt Air Airbus A-320 sits on the tarmac of Larnaca aiport after it was hijacked.
  • FameFlynet.uk.com
    EgyptAir flight from Alexandria's Burg Al-Arab airport to Cairo was hijacked.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    An official telephones from the ramp of a hijacked Egyptair A320 Airbus.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A police officer patrols outside the airport.
  • Splash News
    An Egypt air plane hijacked in Larnaca Cyprus.
  • Yiannis Kourtoglou / Reuters
    Media gather at Larnaca Airport.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A bus carrying some passengers from a hijacked EgyptAir aircraft drives by the plane at Larnaca Airport.
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