On August 14th, a Malaysia Airlines flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur was forced to turn back when an agitated man claimed he had “explosives” in his backpack, Australian police said.
The 45-year-old was arrested after the plane returned to Sydney and has been charged with one count of making a false statement about a threat to damage an aircraft.
Videos of the man went viral where he can be seen praying on a prayer mat in the airplane’s aisle and repeatedly asking people if ‘they are a slave of Allah’.
The Current has confirmed with multiple sources that the man is a former Pakistani model and actor, Muhammad Arif Ali. According to his LinkedIn profile, he graduated from NCA in 2002. He worked as an architect at a number of firms in Karachi and Lahore from 2002-2016.
He was also featured in renowned Pakistani singer Abrar-ul-Haq’s song, “Preeto” and as an actor he was in a Pakistani sitcom, “Kollege Jeans”, which revolves around the campus life of the National College of Arts, directed by Jawad Bashir.
Most of his entertainment industry friends say that they lost contact with him while one of our sources confirmed that, “I lost contact a long while ago but I heard that he has developed extremist views”.
We followed his social media and here is what we found:
His Behance profile as an architect was made in January 30th, 2012, where he shared different projects he worked on during his career.
His Facebook profile is open and shows that he lives in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. People have started commenting on his public posts.
His YouTube channel “food for thought” is made up of shorts and videos, mostly based on his religious views. The last video on August 12 2023.
His Instagram profile was made in June 2014 and has a throwback video with his “Kollege Jeans” co-actors. His former colleagues and his lawyer say they hope he is given a psychological assessment and is dealt with in a fair manner, saying that he likely suffers from mental health issues.