Goto

Collaborating Authors

Last five held on hijacked Egypt jet recall fear, 'foolish' selfie

The Japan Times

LARNACA, CYPRUS – First the hijacker said the women could leave. Then the man in the suicide vest agreed that all Egyptians and others from Muslim backgrounds would be allowed to escape from the plane. That left five Western men -- at least one of whom thought they were about to die. "We looked each other in the eyes and we said: Here we are. It's over," recalled the Italian in the group, Andrea Banchetti, the day after an Egyptian man took control of a short EgyptAir flight to Cairo by donning a fake explosives belt and diverting it across the Mediterranean to Cyprus.


A 17-year-old Syrian who fled Aleppo is feared drowned in San Diego after his first trip to a beach

Los Angeles Times

Mohammed al-Mustafa and his family escaped the violence and destruction in war-torn Aleppo, and settled several weeks ago in El Cajon, ready to start a new life. Instead, his parents and four sisters are mourning the 17-year-old, who is believed to have drowned Sunday after being caught in a rip current off Mission Beach. His body hasn't been recovered. "He didn't have a childhood because of the war in Syria," his father, Husan al-Mustafa, said through a translator Tuesday. The family came to America hoping there would be "a better future for him in the United States."


Egypt requests extradition of detained hijack suspect - British passenger describes 'best selfie ever' with EgyptAir hijacker - VIDEO: Passenger takes pic with EgyptAir hijacker

FOX News

LARNACA, Cyprus – Egypt formally asked Cyprus on Wednesday to extradite a detained Egyptian man who authorities say admitted hijacking a domestic EgyptAir flight and diverting it to Cyprus by threatening to blow it up with a fake explosives belt. The legal developments came as those on board described an unnerving situation in which the hijacker looked for foreigners by sorting through their passports and kept five on them on the plane after freeing the non-Western passengers. "He wanted the foreigners ... only foreigners. He didn't want Egyptians or double nationalities," flight attendant Rouida Ihab told The Associated Press. Italian passenger Andrea Banchetti said passengers were calm through the ordeal but admitted "(I was) going out of my mind" when the hijacker let non-Western passengers off the plane, leaving behind only five European passport-holders including himself.


Last 5 hostages on hijacked Egypt plane recall fear, photo

Associated Press

It's over," recalled the Italian in the group, Andrea Banchetti, the day after an Egyptian man took control of a short EgyptAir flight to Cairo by donning a fake explosives belt and diverting it across the Mediterranean to Cyprus. On Wednesday, Egypt General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek formally requested Mustafa's extradition from Cyprus. Cyprus police prosecutor Andreas Lambrianou said Mustafa faces preliminary charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives, kidnapping and threats to commit violence. A Cypriot police official told the AP that Mustafa's criminal record on the island stretched back to 1988, when he was convicted on six counts of forging passports and given a suspended sentence.


Photos: Syrian orphans adjust to life after war and loss

PBS NewsHour

Mustafa and Doaa are now in Amman, Jordan, where they escaped the fighting in Syria. AMMAN, Jordan -- "I have shrapnel here and here in my leg I have shrapnel in my hand here and they took some shrapnel out of here," the little boy points to his elbow then his waist, back and pelvis. "And it hurt a lot, my baba (father) was carrying me when the bomb fell from the sky. Baba died and my mama died, too, and my cousin died as well." These are the matter-of-fact but chilling words of 5-year-old Mustafa, who was just 2 in the summer of 2014 in Aleppo, Syria.