Reports suggest that US authorities are now leaning towards the possibility that the disappearance of flight MH370 might have been caused by a mid-air explosion.
It is understood that Interpol officers may be invited to help with investigations as US officials review possible terror links in connection with a missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane, a US federal law enforcement official was quoted by USA Today as saying yesterday.
Oil spotted in area where contact was lost with Malaysia Airlines flight could be a clue.
The unnamed official said there has been no immediate determination of what caused the plane to lose contact, adding it would likely take some time to reach any conclusions because of the lack of evidence. He added that authorities have been reviewing the passenger manifest list and crosschecking the names with their international colleagues.
This screengrab from flightradar24.com shows the last reported position of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared over the South China Sea on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Speculation of a terror connection is also brewing in China, according to reports from local media. The news comes as Italian and Austrian officials said two people listed as passengers on the flight turned out not to be on the plane, and had reported their passports stolen in Thailand. In an earlier USA Today report, an aviation lawyer, who had worked on cases with problems similar to the MAS incident, was quoted as saying that the lack of warnings about a problem aboard the aircraft suggested a catastrophic failure while flying at altitude.
Terrorism is a line of inquiry in the investigation into the sudden disappearance of a passenger jet over the seas off Vietnam.
Four passengers are under investigation say Malaysian officials, who are liaising with the FBI - stolen passports were used by two individuals to board the plane. The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished around two hours into the flight on Saturday.
A Vietnamese search aircraft located fragments Sunday floating in waters off southern Vietnam that are suspected of coming from a Malaysia Airlines 3786.KU 0.00% jetliner that went missing a day earlier with 239 people on board. The fragments were believed to be a composite inner door and a piece of the tail, Vietnam's ministry of information and communication said in a posting on its website. They were located about 50 miles south-southwest of Tho Chu island.
Officials released photograph of one fragment floating in the water. Malaysia Airlines said it had received no confirmation regarding the suspected debris.
Malaysia's air force chief says that military radar indicated the missing Boeing 777 jet may have turned back, but declined to give further details on how far the plane may have veered off course. Rodzali Daud told a press conference Sunday that "there is a possible indication that the aircraft made a turnback," adding that authorities were "trying to make sense of that. Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said the pilot is supposed to inform the airline and traffic control authorities if he does return, but that officials had received no such distress call.
Mystery: No terror groups have claimed responsibility for the disappearance of Flight 370
Mystery continues to surround the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 after investigators admitted NO terror groups had claimed responsibility for its disappearance. Three days after the jet went missing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board and not a single piece of electronic "chatter" has been detected that would indicate that any known radical organisation, such as Al-Qaeda, was behind its strange disappearance.
Investigators in the US are understood to be reviewing surveillance video from Kuala Lumpur and the travel patterns associated with two stolen passports fraudulently used to board the aircraft. They are also believed to be checking if any telling thumb-print records have been made at security checkpoints.
Tickets for Luigi Maralid and Christina Kozel were bought consecutively
A source told NBC News that only "wackos" were claiming responsibility for the disappearance. Al-Qaeda, as well as its affiliates and other groups inspired by its fundamentalist jihad, traditionally claim responsibility soon after perpetrating acts of terrorism.
We know something about what they looked like, but we don't know their nationalities. Malaysia's civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, revealed Monday that authorities have reviewed security footage of the men passing through Kuala Lumpur's airport, and they are not "Asian-looking men." At least one of them appeared to be black, Rahman said.
Most of the 239 people on the plane were from Asia, according to the airline's manifest. There were 154 people from China or Taiwan and 38 people from Malaysia aboard. The two stolen passports that apparently were used to board the plane belonged to citizens of Italy and Austria. The Italian whose name was on the plane's manifest, Luigi Maraldi, told reporters in Thailand over the weekend that he'd reported his passport stolen in August.
Their tickets were apparently purchased together. The tickets were bought from China Southern Airlines in Thailand's baht currency at identical prices, according to China's official e-ticket verification system Travelsky. The ticket numbers are contiguous, indicating they were issued together. Both were for travel from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam via Beijing. The Italian passport's ticket continued on to Copenhagen, Denmark. The Austrian passport's ticket ended in Frankfurt, Germany. On Monday, Thai police said the tickets had been purchased by an Iranian man for two friends he said wanted to go home to Europe.
They were traveling on passports stolen in 2012 and 2013 in Thailand, according to Interpol. The passports were issued by Austria and Italy. Authorities don't know yet if the men were involved in the passports' theft or how they came to possess them.
Their final words were a causal farewell. “All right, good night,” was the last transmission received from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Kuala Lumpur’s ambassador reportedly told family members Wednesday during a meeting at a Beijing hotel. It came as the plane went from Malaysia airspace into Vietnamese territory.
Video has surfaced from a meeting at a Beijing hotel between family members of those oboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and airline officials. During that tense meeting, relatives frustrated at the lack of answers threw insults and water bottles.
Shortly afterwards, the plane vanished from radar — and nearly five days later authorities are still searching for any evidence of the Boeing 777. The mystery surrounding the fate of Flight 370 has been compounded by confusing and occasionally conflicting statements by Malaysian officials, adding to the anguish of relatives of the 239 people on board the flight — two thirds of them Chinese.
“There’s too much information and confusion right now. It is very hard for us to decide whether a given piece of information is accurate,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in Beijing. “We will not give it up as long as there’s still a shred of hope.” Citing military radar, Malaysian authorities have said the plane may have turned back from its last known position, possibly making it as far as the Strait of Malacca, a busy shipping lane west of the narrow nation some 250 miles from the plane’s last known coordinates.
How it might have done this without being clearly detected has raised questions over whether its electrical systems, including transponders allowing it to be identified by radar, were either knocked out or turned off. If it did manage to fly on, it would challenge earlier theories that the plane may have suffered a catastrophic incident, initially thought reasonable because it didn’t send out any distress signals. American experts and the manufacturer of the radar systems were examining the data to determine if it did indeed detect the missing plane, military and government officials said.