Plane hijacker ‘criminal’, ‘troublemaker’: Interior Ministry, neighbors

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The Ministry of Interior said on Tuesday that the hijacker of the EgyptAir flight that landed in Cyprus has a criminal record, with crimes such as forgery, burglary, drug dealing, and impersonation.

The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CYBC) reported that Mustafa may have had personal motives and that he had an ex-wife in Cyprus, which one of his ,  said, is quite plausible.

“His Cypriot wife took their children and flew back home after disagreements between them, so I expect he did all that so he could go to them,” the neighbor, Um Assmaa, told Al-Ahram’s Arabic website.

She added that Mustafa was a “troublemaker” during the time he lived in the working-class Cairo neighbourhood, saying he once impersonated someone and the police sought to arrest him as a result.

“He was a man of a few words,” said Anwar, another neighbour who said that psychological problems seem to run in Mustafa’s family.

The mental condition of the middle-aged Egyptian man who hijacked an EgyptAir plane – forcing its landing in Cyprus where he was arrested – has been under scrutiny since the beginning of the scare.

Seif El-Din Mustafa, who claimed to be wearing an explosive belt that authorities said, turned out to be fake, while on board made phone calls that Egyptian civil aviation minister Sherif Fathy said had showed he was not a terrorist but a man with personal and mental problems.

“Mostafa has a criminal record. The ministry archives reveal that he was sentenced to one year in prison for forgery. He escaped during the events of the 25 January Revolution but he surrendered himself to police in 2014. He was later released in 2015,” ministry sources clarified.

Following his release, he was granted permission to travel domestically, according to the sources. Therefore, he was able to hijack the plane that took off from Borg Al-Arab in Alexandria, as its destination was Cairo International Airport.

There has yet to be an official confirmation of the motives behind the hijacking.

source:Daily News, Ahram Online