Police arrested a lovestruck “idiot” who claimed to be wearing a suicide belt and forced an EgyptAir passenger jet to land in Cyprus Tuesday morning, government officials confirmed, ending a bizarre and frightening hijacking that stretched on for hours.
Officials in Cyprus said the hijacking was "over," with all the remaining passengers and crew freed. The country's president Nicos Anastasiades insisted it was not terrorism, with another government official saying the man "seems (to be) in love."
Officials reportedly said he demanded a meeting with his ex-wife, giving negotiators the name of a woman who lives in Cyprus and asking to give her an envelope. Witnesses told state TV he tossed a letter for the woman onto the tarmac.
“He’s not a terrorist, he’s an idiot,” Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement to a Cairo-based journalist quoted by Reuters. “Terrorists are crazy but they aren’t stupid. This guy is.”
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