A Sudanese man armed with a disposable, plastic knife attempted to hijack an aircraft yesterday, the Associated Press reported.
The passenger, identified as 26-year-old Mohammed Hamad Nourain, was onboard an EgyptAir plane from Istanbul, Turkey to Cairo, Egypt. A Cairo police official told AP the hijacker used a passport with a fake name to board the flight.
After the plane left Turkish airspace, the man wielded the disposable knife from his meal tray and demanded the crew to redirect the plane.
Imad Sallam, head of the Civil Aviation Authority, told India’s ZeeNews that the hijacker put a plastic knife up to an air hostess’ neck and told her “take me to Jerusalem.”
Egyptian Air Marshals who were sitting in the back of the plane reacted immediately. The officers overpowered and arrested the hijacker while the flight continued on its path.
According to AP, a security official at Cairo airport said the hijacker was overheard saying “he wanted to ‘liberate’ Jerusalem.” It is not clear exactly what his intentions were.
Several news sources are reporting that the man was drunk at the time of the incident, but the allegation is unconfirmed.
The EgyptAir flight with 87 people onboard landed safely at Cairo airport. American Free Press reported that Sallam told a television news agency: “All the passengers left the airport safely and the flight even landed on time.”