Apparently, a plane departing from Alexandria and headed to Cairo with a few dozen passengers was hijacked. There were conflicting reports over time: whether the man had a vest of explosives on, what his name was. The plane landed, at the hijacker's direction, in Cyprus, where he dumped a piece of paper on the tarmac demanding to see a woman who was named in it.
Everyone is okay, and the man -- whatever his name may be -- has been arrested, however, some of the comments about this event have been very odd.
This is odd, yet sensible:
"U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program Tuesday, said that a "very good question" is whether the man who hijacked the plane Tuesday was able to pass through airport security with a bomb-laden belt."
Everything else seems to be odd and not very sensible.
"The man's motivation was unclear, but Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the hijacking was "not something that has to do with terrorism" and a Cyprus government official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the man "seems [to be] in love."
Anastasiades, appearing alongside European Parliament President Martin Schulz in Nicosia, was asked by reporters whether he could confirm that the incident was about a woman. "Always, there is a woman" involved, he replied, drawing laughter."
I don't even understand all the assertions that this isn't terrorism, under a limited conception of terrorism as a political act, given that the hijacker apparently also was trying to get the release of some women prisoners.
I'm happy that man has been arrested and that the passengers are off the plane, but I am very much unhappy about the Cypriot government officials statements about the event. Between this and the whole shooting Egyptian commandos who tried to resolve the previous (1978) incident at Lanarca, it really doesn't give me a good impression of the country's governance then or now. Also, what a bunch of sexist pigs. These are likely to be related phenomena.