A Bolivian religious fanatic hijacked a passenger jet from the Mexican resort city of Cancun after receiving a divine revelation, selecting the date 9-9-09 because it is the satanic number 666 turned upside down, Mexico's security secretary said Wednesday.
Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna says Jose Mar Flores, 44, used a fake bomb to hijack the plane, then ordered the pilot to circle over Mexico City seven times. He told Mexican officials that he wanted to warn Mexican President Felipe Calderon of an impending earthquake.
The Bible-carrying hijacker allegedly used a juice can he said was a bomb to hold the 103 passengers — three were Americans — and the plane's crew on the tarmac for more than an hour before they were released and Flores arrested.
"Christ is coming soon," a smiling Flores told reporters after he was detained.
Mexico's President Felipe Calderon was at home at the presidential palace and did not consider meeting the hijackers at the airport, according to Mexican television sources.
The AeroMexico flight, carrying American, French and Mexican passengers, was bound for Mexico City when it was hijacked.
As the plane was landing, Flores stood up and showed his contraption to a flight attendant, saying he and three others were hijacking the plane, Garcia Luna said.
After it landed safely at the airport there, a standoff ensued until masked police stormed the aircraft with their guns drawn and escorted several handcuffed men away without firing a shot. Police later said there was only one hijacker.
Flores later told police his three companions were "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."
Garcia Luna said Flores is a drug addict who was convicted of armed robbery in Bolivia, and has lived in Mexico for 17 years. Flores described himself as a pastor in southern Oaxaca state who had gone to Cancun to preach.
The attorney general's office said it was opening an investigation into terrorism and kidnapping.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.