tv America This Morning ABC March 29, 2016 4:00am-4:30am EDT
(colonial penn jingle) >> announcer: this is an abc news special report. good morning, everyone. we're coming on the air right now with breaking news coming out of the middle east right now. >> an egypt airplane has been hijacked flying from alexandria and diverted to the island of cyprus. >> there is a person on board explosive belt. you see the island of cyprus right there and lama hasan is
breaking details. what are you hearing from your post right now? >> reporter: good morning to you, kendis. this is villing right now. information is still coming in but here's what we know at this hour. according to cypriot officials the hijacker is reportedly demanding access to a translator and has asked for political asylum. egyptair is confirming the man is an egyptian national by the ibrahim samaha. the nationalities that are on board, we understand that about 56 people are on that flight in addition to seven crew members. among them again these are reports that we have not been able to confirm at this hour but we understand that there are at least four foreigners on board. the majority of passengers we understand have been released but, of course, here's what happened earlier. egyptair flight 181, a domestic flight traveling from alexandria to cairo in egypt was hijacked. it was forced to land at larnaca
airline and government officials have said that the plane was hijacked by a man wearing a suicide vest as you rightly said. egypt has set up a crisis center, we understand to deal with the hijacking. >> lama, taking a look at images deplaning from that hijacked plane that we believe. we know that you have traveled extensively in and out of egypt. are you surprised that someone with a vest was able to make it on to a plane? >> reporter: let's remember that this was a flight, a domestic flight soy the security is very different to if you were traveling, for example, internationally. security domestically is very lax and this latest incident raises some veres questions about security at egyptian airports. even if you are traveling internationally, it is lax when you compare it to western standards this.
that russian aircraft that was traveling over sharm el sheikh, that was blown up, all 224 people as you recall were killed. so, again, this latest incident just raises even more questions about security at egyptian airports whether it's domestic or the international airport in cairo. >> and this is also, i should point out, one week after the attack in brussels which isis was responsible for. do we get a sense of who might be responsible for this particular hijacking at this point? i know it's fairly early but what you hearing? >> reporter: it is fairly early and information is still coming in to us but here is what we know right now. we know that this man who has been named by egyptian officials as ibrahim samaha, also an egyptian national, we understand he is asking for political asylum so we have to be careful at this point with reports of whether or not this man was
this hour we understand that he is seeking political asylum and, of course, we heard that he's also asked for a translator. as i said the egyptian officials, the egyptian air has set up a crisis center to deal with this so at this hour we understand that he is asking for political asylum. >> all right. well, very latest from lama hasan reporting from us from our bureau in london. lama, it into keep us abreast of what is going on. >> after recent terror attacks many will wonder how a passenger got on a plane and possibly with a bomb. >> of course, you know moments ago we spoke with abc news contributor stephen ganyard. >> well, you remember the recent downing of the russian airliner in the sinai points to how weak security is in egypt so this certainly isn't surprising that a domestic flight where the security was probably quite poor allowed somebody to get on board with either a weapon or a bomb. >> and, steve, colonel, tell us
flights in this particular part of the world? of course, you were mentioning the egyptair or the flight from sharm el sheikh earlier but security at this particular airport 5 in this part of the world. >> it's -- egypt has had a problem with aviation security for a long time. we've seen it tragically pointed out recently. i think one of the things that's interesting to me remember in the '70s and '80s there were lots of hijackings done by left wing palestinian terrorist, blo, those kinds of folks. this is a very different time. these are usually motivated by religious grievances, radical islamists rather than what we knew in the '70s and '80s as hijackings that were much more left wing ideological and this is also the time of suicide vests and suicide bombings which
>> president el sisi has a good relationship. what happens in a situation like this and how does israel respond? >> no doubt given the close cooperation between israel and egypt on security measures that they were alerted early on and they probably have folks en route to cyprus right now. so i think that the israeli capabilities in terms of counter hijacking and these sort of extremist hostage situations will be called into play. >> and, couple,lonel, why this plane may have landed in cyprus? any idea why they would have gone there. >> that's a bit baffling. remember, again, going back to the kinds of high jack-- hijackings, they would ask for ransom or either let them go or blow the airplane up.
this was a short flight enter egypt from alexandria to cairo so not very far away to get across the mediterranean so why they took it to cyprus remains a mystery and maybe it's more political than religionly motivated but we'll have to see. >> our breaking news. a flight from alexandria to cairo hijacked by someone with an explosive belt on board. it was forced to land in cyprus. we believe some of those passengers were allowed to deplane. there are still believed to be some foreigners on board. >> this is egyptair flight 181. there in cyprus. some of those passengers that were allowed to leave the airplane mopes ago but we are told that several passengers still on board and the entire crew is on board that plane. we're continuing to follow the very latest developments in this breaking news. but for now we're going to return you to your regular programming.
"world news now" and "america this morning." i'm reena ninan with kendis gibson in new york. have a good day. >> announcer: this has been a special report from abc news. we're back now with "america this morning." we're going to take a quick break. the latest on that security scare on capitol hill yesterday.
when he pointed what appeared to be a gun. overnight his truck was towed away from the scene and we're learning that dawson is no stranger to capitol hill police. abc's megan hughes has the latest from washington. megan, good morning. >> reporter: reena, kendis, good morning. we understand this suspect, this 66-year-old from tennessee is in stable but critical condition at a d.c. hospital this morning and that's exactly right. he he is no stranger to capitol police. chaos in the capitol captured on cell phones as shots rang out. >> shelter in place. >> reporter: visitors and hill staffers were told to protect themselves or flee to safety. doors in the capitol barricaded. >> we were just told to get down on the floor and we were staying -- lying on the floor for about 15, 20 minutes. >> like hell broke loose. police everywhere with guns drawn. people running and screaming. >> spring break visitors swarmed the streets outside. so did armed police.
visitors center the first point of intri for tourists. a man approached the conveyer belt and screening machine when suddenly there was a weapon. >> the individual drew what appeared to be a weapon and pointed it at officers. and an officer fired and struck the suspect. >> reporter: the suspect identified as 66-year-old larry dawson rushed to the hospital for medical treatment. an innocent bystander, a woman about 40 years old was also injured. police say they found the weapon on the scene. dawson's truck was also being searched and towed away from the capitol. he's been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer while armed. dawson had previous run-ins with capitol police. a judge told him to tay away after he interrupted a session of the house last fall. shouting that he was a prophet. >> i am a prophet of god. >> reporter: at a time when terrorism concerns are high capitol police stress this was a criminal act by a single person, nothing more, they believe.
be open for business as usual later this morning. reena, kendis. >> megan hughes, live in washington. thank you very much. when we come back we will have more on the breaking news out of egypt. a plane hijacked. we'll have the latest. also apple off the hook with its showdown with the federal government. you get a cold. you can't breathe through your nose. suddenly, you're a mouthbreather. a mouthbreather! how can anyone sleep like that? well, just put on a breathe right strip and pow! it instantly opens your nose up to 38% more than cold medicine alone. so you can breathe and sleep. shut your mouth and say goodnight mouthbreathers. breathe right seresto makes it easy to help protect your dog or cat from fleas and ticks. with the performance you expect from a monthly topical in a non-greasy collar... seresto kills and repels fleas and ticks for 8 continuous months.
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by air and on the ground. alaska airlines says it it has canceled dozens of flights involving six cities. the volcano alert at its highest level. ash won't be a problem for drivers in the lower 48 but know in the western mountains will be. roads will be wet in the upper midwest, the western gulf coast and florida and some for both in northern and new england, as well, but no ash. >> if you're flying, airport delays likeliest in salt lake city. we want to recap our top story. an egypt airplane was hijacked by a man believed to be wearing an explosive belt forced to land in cyprus. it was carrying 60 passengers from spdz to cairo. >> most have been released. the hijacker is reportedly an egyptian national asking for political asylum according to counterterrorism expert matt olsen. investigators are likely getting names of everyone on board that flight.
different options but, you know, there are limited options when you have armed takeover of a plane sitting on a tarmac at an airport like this. >> what would you say, matt, is one of the first things that you do when something like this takes place in egypt and cyprus, two different countries? how does the u.s. interact at this point? >> certainly from the u.s. perspective, this is the concern is are there americans on that flight, so they've -- u.s. officials have run passenger manifests, tried to determine who is on the plane, if they have access to that information, working with our counterparts in egypt, and then really trying to find out if there's any intelligence scouring intelligence reports the last 24 hours, 48 hours to see if there's been any sign of any warning or threat that we can point to to identify who might be responsible. >> but so many people are asking at this hour how is it possible that someone with an explosive
security and get on a plane? >> right, that really is the question. we just had the downing of the airplane in egypt out of the sinai recently and now this is the second apparent effort to bypass screening that's been successful. that's a real concern, especially if it's the case that what appears that perhaps someone with a suicide vest was able to get past the screening ability in that airport. >> it has been a while since we've heard of such a hijacking. when you hear about this what do you think is going on? >> we had seen this obviously 20, 30 years ago. we saw many of these types of hijackings in the middle east but not lately. that's not been part of the al qaeda or isis playbook. really they have been willing to just simply take down planes,
not to hijack so this could be a new chapter where they're willing to hijack a plane because of the extra publicity that it generates although it doesn't appear at this point that there's been any demands made. that was afeature of airplane hijackings in the '70s and '80s. apple in the middle of the security showdown off the hook. the fbi says it was able to break the encryption without apple's help and it's now dropped its lawsuit. the device was used by one of the san bernardino terrorists and it may contain information useful to the investigation of the december shooting. well, more on our top story coming up included a convicted murderer back in custody after escaping from prison. a sandstorm causing a major highway pileup in the west. stay with us. people are taking charge of their type 2 diabetes with non-insulin victoza . for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar. but it didn't get me to my goal.
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breaking news right now, an escaped murderer has bernie sanders recaptured. john modi had been missing for 4 hours from a prison in nelsonville about 60 miles southeast of columbus. >> his escape propted a local college campus to shut down for a day and residents to stay indoors with the doors locked. police say he was recaptured without incident. a dramatic rescue captured on camera after a fiery crash in los angeles. good samaritans and police officers saved several people trapped in a burning car following a collision with a bus and four other cars and ran toward the flames and putted this emto safety before fire crews arrived. at least seven people have been injured. >> dramatic scene. >> very dramatic and thankfully for the people who were total strangers that stepped in. it all started off as a high-speed chase and ended with a suspect stuck in the mud. the driver cut through fields
jumps into a muddy river. perhaps hoping to escape by swimming away. instead he needed officers' help and they pulled him ashore with a rope. there's no word on what led to the chase. but no one was hurt. >> he was nude. >> we have no idea why he took his clothes off. >> you can see him right there. >> should be hazard pay for those officers. >> we want to turn to a lighter story. a touching moment during a pro basketball game last night. a little boy made his way on to the court so he could give knick star carmelo anthony a hug. >> melo said he was shocked to see a child standing there. he touched the kid's head for a second before he was shoed off the basketball court there by an official. the fan was sent back to an adult in the crowd. not sure who that was. some fans said it was a highlight in an otherwise dreary game.
better than any knick player. >> still. >> still. >> oh, i don't know. a las vegas resident struck it rich by going some offsomeplace. one of the slot machines paid out nearly $1 million jackpot. all we know about the winner is that she was someone local on her way out of town. >> lucky folks. for those who haven't been there we should say the las vegas airport, obviously full of slot machines and the airport actually raked in some $26 million just from those slots. >> yep. >> and it sold a million dollar jackpot so that's pretty rare, i would have to say. >> that's one of the cool things when you get to the mccarran airport you land and see slot machines no, no, no, we're going to wait till we get to the strip. there's proof right there. >> it happens. >> but no blackjack table at the airport. >> no blackjack table but slot machines everywhere.
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mmm, it is real milk. see? delicious. hoof bump! oh. right here girl, boom lactaid . 100% real milk. no discomfort and for a creamy and delicious treat, try lactaid ice cream our top stories this morning, an egyptair flight has been hijacked and forced to land in cyprus. a man asked for political asylum. most passengers were quickly released. there was no immediate reports of any injuries. a suspect shot by police on capitol hill in critical condition. police say larry dawson drew what looked like a gun at the visitors center packed with tourists. last fall he disrupted a house session shouting that he was a prophet. and a dust storm is blamed for 15-car pileup in san bernardino, california. wind gusts of more than 50 miles an hour toppled trees causing damage in the las vegas area.
the east. recapping our breaking news a hijacked egyptian airline landed in cyprus. >> it was heading to cairo from alexandria when it was diverted with about 60 on board. the hijacker wearing an explosive belt reportedly's demanding political asylum. all but a few passengers were released and spoke to john cohen moments ago. >> well, one of the things that authorities have to determine what if it's somebody sought to board the plane for the purposes of blowing it up or is this in a sense going back to the tactics of the '70s and early '80s where we saw extremist organizations particularly in the mideast who would hijack airplanes then use the time in which the plane was on the ground and they're negotiating with law enforcement and security officials to state their demands and bring attention to their cause. >> this incident coming just one
the brussels attacks. is there anything that can be gleaned from that or do you think authorities all around the world are now on alert as a result of this incident right now? >> no, they obviously are going to be very concerned that this is yet another incident, you know, carried out by al qaeda or isis but we don't know that yet. i mean, this, you know, could be the actions of somebody associated with those organizations, or it could be something else. you know, the key question here is does the hijacker actually have a real explosive or is he threatening or does he have a fake device? if it's real, is it an explosive device consistent with the types used by these terrorist organizations that we've been dealing with recently. >> so once again a domestic egyptair flight 181 flighting from alexandria to cairo hijack hijacked now in the mediterranean island of cyprus. we're continuing to follow those developments. >> we will have the latest on "good morning america" later this morning.
america this morning. . breaking news is unfolding in the middle east, a passenger plane has been hijacked just landed on the island of cyprus. new video just coming in. good morning i'm lori stokes. that egypt air flight took off in alexandria headed to cairo when it was hijacked. it landed in cyprus. officials believe there may be a bomb on board.