Terrorist attack possible in missing flight MH370

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arrivalsAuthorities searching for the lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 did not rule out terrorism on March 9 in the plane’s sudden and stunning disappearance over Southeast Asia. While a daylong search failed to locate the aircraft and the 239 passengers and crew members aboard, red flags were raised by word that two passengers on the doomed plane boarded with stolen passports.

The jet vanished during an otherwise routine flight without sending a distress signal, leading investigators to suspect a quick and catastrophic midair incident. The Boeing 777 was about an hour into its flight early Saturday, traveling smoothly in clear weather at about 35,000 feet, when it vanished from radar screens.

The first hints of its likely fate were a pair of massive oil slicks spotted in the South China Sea. But Vietnamese ships and planes searching for the missing jet found no wreckage in the vicinity of the slicks, officials said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, asked if terrorism was a possible cause, said it was too early to say. “We are looking at all possibilities,” he said.

Confirmation that two travelers on the plane were identity thieves suggested something sinister – although US officials echoed Razak’s caution until more details are known.

“This gets our antenna up, for sure,” said Rep. Pete King, a member of the US House Homeland Security Committee. “Once you hear that – stolen passports, a plane disappearing from the radar – you have to go to the full-court press.”

Officials in Italy and Austria confirmed Saturday that the names of two passengers on the flight manifest matched passports reported stolen in Thailand. The Italian passport was swiped 18 months ago, while the Austrian travel document disappeared two years ago, officials said.

Italian Luigi Maraldi, 37, is now living in Thailand, while the Austrian was located in his homeland. Maraldi called his parents in Italy to reassure them of his safety after his name appeared on the flight manifest.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Authorities searching for the lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 did not rule out terrorism on March 9 in the plane’s sudden and stunning disappearance over Southeast Asia. While a daylong search failed to locate the aircraft and the 239 passengers and crew members aboard, red flags were raised by word that two passengers on the doomed plane boarded with stolen passports.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

arrivalsAuthorities searching for the lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 did not rule out terrorism on March 9 in the plane’s sudden and stunning disappearance over Southeast Asia. While a daylong search failed to locate the aircraft and the 239 passengers and crew members aboard, red flags were raised by word that two passengers on the doomed plane boarded with stolen passports.

The jet vanished during an otherwise routine flight without sending a distress signal, leading investigators to suspect a quick and catastrophic midair incident. The Boeing 777 was about an hour into its flight early Saturday, traveling smoothly in clear weather at about 35,000 feet, when it vanished from radar screens.

The first hints of its likely fate were a pair of massive oil slicks spotted in the South China Sea. But Vietnamese ships and planes searching for the missing jet found no wreckage in the vicinity of the slicks, officials said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, asked if terrorism was a possible cause, said it was too early to say. “We are looking at all possibilities,” he said.

Confirmation that two travelers on the plane were identity thieves suggested something sinister – although US officials echoed Razak’s caution until more details are known.

“This gets our antenna up, for sure,” said Rep. Pete King, a member of the US House Homeland Security Committee. “Once you hear that – stolen passports, a plane disappearing from the radar – you have to go to the full-court press.”

Officials in Italy and Austria confirmed Saturday that the names of two passengers on the flight manifest matched passports reported stolen in Thailand. The Italian passport was swiped 18 months ago, while the Austrian travel document disappeared two years ago, officials said.

Italian Luigi Maraldi, 37, is now living in Thailand, while the Austrian was located in his homeland. Maraldi called his parents in Italy to reassure them of his safety after his name appeared on the flight manifest.

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