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EgyptAir hijacker’s ex-wife says he is ‘extremely dangerous’

indexThe Cypriot ex-wife of an Egyptian man who authorities say admitted to hijacking a domestic

EgyptAir flight and threatened to blow it up with a fake suicide belt says her former husband is an

“extremely dangerous man” who used drugs, terrorised his family and beat her and their children.

Marina Paraschou rejected media reports that 59-year-old Seif Eldin Mustafa hijacked the Airbus

A320 with 72 passengers and crew onboard out of love for her.

Paraschou said Mustafa was a “fanatical” Palestine Liberation Organisation supporter who bragged

about participating in the killing of three Israeli soldiers and was jailed for four years in Syria.

Paraschou said the last conversation she had with Mustafa since the couple divorced in 1990 took

place a few years ago, following the death their daughter, one of four children. Paraschou said that

when she called Mustafa to tell him, he responded: “And what do I care? I don’t mind that she died”.

“This man never cared for his children for one minute, either when he lived here or when he went

away,” Paraschou is quoted as saying. “He only offered pain, misery and terror. And even now when

he’s in police custody, my children and I are afraid.”

Paraschou told Phileleftheros she married Mustafa in 1985 when she was 20. The couple divorced

five years later.

She said while married, the couple lived in her parents’ home and that Mustafa never held down a

job, beating his children when he couldn’t support his drug habit.

Egypt’s interior ministry said Mustafa had a long criminal record but had finished serving a one-year

prison term in March 2015.

Cyprus police 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 handed a suspended sentence. He was later

deported to Egypt following domestic violence charges by Paraschou.

He re-entered Cyprus on an assumed Qatari identity, but was tracked down and again deported

to Egypt in 1990.

Mustafa, who is currently being held in Cypriot custody, has told police he acted because he wanted

to see his estranged wife and children, saying “what should one do?”

Mustafa surrendered on Tuesday after commandeering a domestic Alexandria-Cairo flight. A Larnaca

court on Wednesday ordered him to be held in custody for eight days on suspicion of hijacking,

abduction, threatening violence, terrorism-related offences and two counts related to possession of


The latter counts were connected to his claim of being strapped with explosives, even though the

belt he wore is believed to be fake, a police source said.

Egypt’s public prosecutor has asked Cypriot authorities to hand over Mustafa, Egyptian state

television reported, but a Cyprus police spokesman and a government official have said that any talk

of extradition right now was premature.

Mustafa took charge of the early morning flight by showing what appeared to be a belt stuffed with

plastic wires and a remote control, directing the flight to the holiday island.

All hostages were released unharmed after a six-hour standoff. The suspect allegedly

commandeered the aircraft 15 minutes after takeoff from Alexandria. He approached a flight

attendant and showed off the belt, attached to a remote control he held in his hand, investigating

officer Andreas Lambrianou told the court.

“The suspect asked all passengers and crew to hand in their passports, then gave two messages to a

member of the crew, asking that the pilot be informed that he was a hijacker and wanted to land at

an airport in Turkey, Greece or Cyprus, but preferably Cyprus,” Lambrianou said.

“In a note, he stressed that if the airplane landed on Egyptian territory he would immediately blow

the plane up.”