EgyptAir Flight 181 was hijacked yesterday by a man wearing a fake explosive belt. During the 7-hour ordeal, one of the hostages decided to ask the hijacker to pose for a selfie.
That man was 26-year-old Ben Innes, a British health and safety worker. With the translation help of a cabin member, Innes told the hijacker, Seif Eldin Mustafa, that he wanted to take a photo with him.
“I figured if his bomb was real I’d nothing lose anyway, so took a chance to get a closer look at it,” Innes tells The Sun. “I got one of the cabin crew to translate for me and asked him if I could do a selfie with him.”
“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.”
Gizmodo reports that Innes apparently shared the photo with friends through WhatsApp:
Today, Innes bizarre selfie has sparked controversy and has appeared on the covers of newspapers and magazines around the world.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 30, 2016
— The Sun (@TheSun) March 30, 2016
The photo has sparked plenty of discussion and controversy as well. First off, The Guardian argues that it shouldn’t even be called a selfie in the first place, because it was taken by a stewardess, not Innes himself.
People are also remixing Innes’ photo into various memes.
The Ben Innes selfie collection pic.twitter.com/wuqNvgtpzR
— Mockeree (@mockeree) March 30, 2016
— 9GAG (@9GAG) March 30, 2016
Others are saying that the stunt was reckless and could have put others in jeopardy.
“I suppose it’s a sign of the times,” security expert Will Geddes of ICP Group tells The Sun, “it’s the Facebook selfie generation — but this was highly irresponsible.”