The man suspected of hijacking an EgyptAir flight and redirecting it to Cyprus has appeared in court and said he acted in a bid “to see his wife and children”.
Seif Eldin Mustafa, 59, flashed “peace” signs for victory as he left the court in Larnaca following a short hearing, where he was remanded in custody for eight days on suspicion of hijacking, abduction, threatening violence, terrorism-related offences and two counts related to possession of explosives.
After a six-hour stand-off, the suspect identified by Egyptian and Cypriot authorities as Mr Mustafa walked off the plane and handed himself in to police.
In a statement Mustafa said:
“When someone hasn’t seen his family for 24 years and wants to see his wife and children, and the Egyptian government doesn’t allow it, what should one do?”
The suspect allegedly commandeered the aircraft 15 minutes after takeoff from Alexandria. He approached a flight attendant and showed off the belt, attached to a remote control he held in his hand.
“The suspect asked all passengers and crew to hand in their passports, then gave two messages to a member of the crew, asking that the pilot be informed that he was a hijacker and wanted to land at an airport in Turkey, Greece or Cyprus, but preferably Cyprus.”
It is believed that Mustafa suffers from mental health issues.
According the Fox 5 Digital Team: ISIS claimed to strike yet again on European soil Tuesday, saying its “fighters” launched attacks on the airport and a subway station in Belgium’s capital that killed at least 30 people and wounded about 230 more.
While jarring, the carnage wasn’t altogether surprising. Belgium has been going after terrorist threats for months, as illustrated by last week’s capture of Europe’s most wanted man, Salah Abdeslam, in a bloody raid in Brussels.
“We were fearing terrorist attacks,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters Tuesday. “And that has now happened.”
A Belgian government representative told CNN that 20 people died at the Maelbeek metro station and 130 were wounded, plus 10 more were killed and 100 wounded at Brussels’ international airport.
The “working assumption” is that the attackers came from the same network behind November’s massacres in Paris, which left 130 dead, Belgian security sources said, while cautioning it is very early in the latest investigation.
See the entire article | Photo of 3 suspects in Brussels attacks released
Two explosions were heard at the Brussels Airport early Tuesday, according to the BBC.
The airport was being evacuated. Photos posted to social media showed smoke billowing from a terminal.
In the clip below people can be seen running in a panic away from the scene.
The explosions are being investigated as a possible terrorist attacks. At least 13 people have been killed.
The story is developing…
Via FOX5– The FBI labels places of worship as one of the top five soft targets for crime. That includes everything from mass shootings on down to burglary.
Security trainer Thomas Gillan warns religious leaders. He works for Training Force USA and hosted a workshop at the Hill Country Bible Church. The company reports a steady increase in security threats to places of worship across the country.
In December, a woman was arrested for ramming her car into the Church of Scientology in Central Austin.
“Churches are vulnerable. We open our doors to everyone.” says Gillan.
Over the summer the company was summoned to South Carolina by law enforcement in response to the murder of nine bible study attendees.
Gillan says recent active shooter cases have caused a mass rush for religious leaders to better arm their facilities.
The Center for Public Safety Innovation advises, ”Lock the nursery door and hide children if alerted to a violent person in the church.”
But Gillan says more likely crimes include things like burglary, embezzlement and arson.