Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: The Deranged EgyptAir Hijacker and Insane Capitol Gunman | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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During the course of a few days, a series of events causing alarm have taken place around the world. These events imitate terrorist acts.

There was an incredibly tense atmosphere in the American capital Washington DC after a man who tried to enter the US Capitol with a gun was shot. In addition to this, a person climbing the fences of the White House prompted it to elevate the threat level to orange. Around the same time, the Times Square in New York was closed due to a suspicious package that turned out to be a rubbish bag.

In another part of the world, an Egyptian man described by Cypriot and Egyptian authorities as mentally unstable and who has criminal convictions relating to fraud in Egypt hijacked a plane that was supposed to be flying from Alexandria to Cairo so that he could divert it to Larnaca in Cyprus. It appears that the man wanted reconciliation with his Cypriot wife and her children. It has also been said that he requested to meet European Union officials. After that, Egyptian security sources announced that Cairo airport had postponed an EgyptAir flight to New York because of security concerns linked to the hijacked plane.

That was in Egypt. On the other side of the world, in Holland, the crisis at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam ended after it came to light that news of a passenger plane arriving from Spain being hijacked was false.

The man who triggered chaos at the US Capitol turned out to be a crazy pastor named Larry Dawson who had previously disrupted Congress last October when he shouted that he was a “prophet of God”. This time, he brandished a “pellet” gun and was shot by police. Likewise, the explosive belt of the EgyptAir hijacker turned out to be fake.

These events mix seriousness with amusement, laughter with tears and life with death. It seems that the succession of news, pictures and coverage of terrorist acts carried out by ISIS all around the world make it seem feasible to imitate these acts and have awakened the determination of some insane people in the world who need psychiatric care, to “borrow” this method to achieve both conceivable and inconceivable purposes.

The danger of such events is that they prevent people from leading normal lives, harm the interests of ordinary people and lead to worry and concern. Unfortunately, tension engulfs the whole world due to real terrorism and events like the EgyptAir hijacking and the US Capitol disruption that imitate it.

Perhaps with the passing of time, the world and the societies within it will live with the reality that real and fake terrorism has become a part of life which is wearisome for a number of reasons.