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Grinning British hostage poses for photo with EgyptAir hijacker

By Shawn Price   |   March 30, 2016 at 4:20 AM

CAIRO, March 30 (UPI) -- A British man who posed for a photo with the hijacker of his EgyptAir flight said he wanted "a closer look" at the hijacker's supposed explosives belt.

Ben Innes, 26, a health and safety auditor from Leeds, was returning from a business trip when he became one of three passengers and four crew held by Seif Eldin Mustafa after he hijacked the EgyptAir flight and forced it to land in Cyprus.

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After the plane landed at Larnaca airport, Innes had a crew member snap the photo of him standing next to Mustafa, who was still wearing the belt inside the cabin of the plane.

"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 told The Sun. "I figured if his bomb was real I'd nothing to lose anyway, so took a chance to get a closer look at it."

The bomb was later found to be cellphone covers, not explosives.

"I got one of the cabin crew to translate for me and asked him if I could do a selfie with him," Innes said. "He just shrugged OK, so I stood by him and smiled for the camera while a stewardess did the snap. It has to be the best selfie ever."

A friend of Innes' told Sky News, "It is completely like him to think it is funny and get a picture."

His mother, Pauline Innes, said she is just "absolutely delighted he is well" and relieved that "everything is resolved."

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