EgyptAir hostage Ben Innes explains bizarre photo alongside hijacker

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EgyptAir Plane Hijacker Arrested

It was a hijacking image that stunned the world -- not for its alarming nature but rather its sheer absurdity and audacity.

British health and safety worker Ben Innes, 26, was one of the last hostages held aboard hijacked EygptAir Flight 181 on Tuesday and initially was "very scared."

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But amid the drama Innes saw an opportunity to take "the selfie of a lifetime" alongside a hijacker claiming to have an explosive vest.

"I'm not sure why I did it, I just threw caut­ion to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity," he told Britain's The Sun newspaper. "We were sitting around waiting. I thought, 'Why not? If he blows us all up it won't matter anyway."

Innes said a cabin member translated his desire for a photo to the hijacker —since identified as Seif Eldin Mustafa.

"He just shrugged OK — so I stood beside him and smiled for the camera while a stewardess did the snap," Innes told the newspaper. "It has to be the best selfie ever."

Related: Hostage Reveals Drama of Passenger Plane Hijacking

While his desire to document the drama has been dismissed as dangerous, Innes said the picture gave him an opportunity to get a "closer look" at the hijacker's so-called explosives — which he "reckoned" were "more likely to be fake" after seeing them up close.

RELATED: EgyptAir hijacking in photos:

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EgyptAir hostage Ben Innes explains bizarre photo alongside hijacker
An unidentified man stuggles with another as he climbs out of the cockpit window of the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016 REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A man climbs out of the cockpit window of the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016 REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
A man climbs out of the cockpit window of the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016 REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Unidentified people leave the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016 REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
A man thought to be the hijacker leaves the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016 REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
Cypriot policemen stand guard in the vicinity of Larnaca airport where an EgyptAir Airbus A-320 (C) sits on the tarmac after being hijacked and diverted to Cyprus on March 29, 2016. A hijacker seized an Egyptian airliner and forced it to land in Cyprus, but nearly all of the passengers were quickly released and officials said the incident was not linked to terrorism. / AFP / BEHROUZ MEHRI (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
A man climbs out of the cockpit window an EgyptAir Airbus A-320 parked at the tarmac of Larnaca airport after being hijacked and diverted to Cyprus on March 29, 2016. The hijacker who seized the Egyptian airliner and forced it to land in Cyprus has been detained, Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said. / AFP / BEHROUZ MEHRI (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers evacuate a hijacked EgyptAir Airbus 320 plane at Larnaca airport, Cyprus, March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE
Passengers of an EgyptAir Airbus A-320 which was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus stand at Larnaca airport after disembarking the plane on March 29, 2016. A hijacker seized the Egyptian airliner and diverted it to Cyprus, before releasing all the passengers except four foreigners and the crew, officials and the airline said. / AFP / GEORGE MICHAEL (Photo credit should read GEORGE MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)
Police stand guard at Larnaca Airport near a hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 , March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Media gather at Larnaca Airport near a hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 , March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
Cypriot security forces cordon off the area around Larnaca airport where an EgyptAir Airbus A-320 (C) is seen on the tarmac after being hijacked and diverted to Cyprus on March 29, 2016. / AFP / BEHROUZ MEHRI (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers of an EgyptAir Airbus A-320 which was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus stand at Larnaca airport after disembarking the plane on March 29, 2016. A hijacker seized the Egyptian airliner and diverted it to Cyprus, before releasing all the passengers except four foreigners and the crew, officials and the airline said. / AFP / GEORGE MICHAEL (Photo credit should read GEORGE MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)
Its over. The #hijacker arrested. #LarnacaAirport # Egyptair
Passengers and crew leave the hijacked Egyptair Airbus A320 at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016 REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
Congratulations to the #Cyprus Police and @CyprusMFA for their efforts to end the #hijacking & ensure the safety of all passengers and crew
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The photo of Innes posting next to the hijacker wearing what turned out to not be an explosive vest quickly went viral, sparking a mixture of surprise and shock.

Innes was later seen running off the plane, hands held in the air as he crossed the tarmac.


Ben Innes (in blue shirt) is seen fleeing the hijacked jet on Tuesday. GEORGE MICHAEL / AFP - Getty Images

On Wednesday, many newspapers around the world carried the bizarre image of him and the hijacker on their front pages. Some poked fun at the snap, with headlines ranging from "Hijackass" to "Photo Bomb."

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