Confusion Reigns over Explanation for Missing Jet
Reports of what may have happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are confusing at best, and there is no consensus yet as to what happened to the missing jet. The jet disappeared with 239 people aboard after taking off Saturday from Kuala Lumpur and heading to Beijing. The bulk of search efforts have taken place between Malaysia and Vietnam. At first, Gen. Tan Sri Rodzali Daud, the Malaysian Air Force general who is head of the air force, said the jet had veered hundreds of miles off course when radar lost contact with it. Daud said that the radar data triggered a search near the Strait of Malacca on the western side of the Malay Peninsula.
But a Malaysian government official disagreed, according to the New York Times, which reported:
Adding to the confusion, Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, spokesman for the prime minister's office, said in a telephone interview that he had checked with senior military officials, who told him there was no evidence that the plane had recrossed the Malaysian peninsula, only that it may have attempted to turn back. As far as they know, except for the air turn-back, there is no new development.
Sariffuddin added that the general's comments about the jet being traced to the Straits of Malacca are "not true."
Meanwhile, John Brennan, director of the Central Intelligence Agency said terrorism could not be ruled out as a factor as a reason for the jet's disappearance, according to Reuters. Brennan said, "You cannot discount any theory. "
The Los Angeles Times reported that Malaysian authorities believe the two passengers with stolen passports who were on the jet "were Iranians who authorities believe were trying to migrate to Europe.” One of the two men were identified at a news conference Tuesday in Sepang, Malaysia, as 19-year old Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad. The Malaysian government believes the men were trying to travel to Europe. Malaysia's inspector general of police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, said that "we believe he is not likely to be a member of any terrorist group and we believe he [was] trying to migrate to Germany."
Malaysian civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said Tuesday that "search teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand and the United States of America" are working together to check both sides of the Malay peninsula. Malaysia Airlines said that searchers are looking on the Malaysian peninsula between the South China Sea and the Malacca Strait. The airline stated "the authorities are looking at a possibility of an attempt made by MH370 to turn back to Subang." Subang is an airport on the Malysian peninsula.
The Malaysian inspector general said Tuesday the possible explanations for the plane’s disappearance were: "hijacking, sabotage, personal problems among the crew and passengers, and psychological problems among the crew and passengers."
Malaysia Airlines also avowed that the story of five passengers who checked in, put their bags on the flight, but did not board was untrue. The airline said "there were four (4) passengers who had valid booking to travel on flight MH370, 8 March 2014, but did not show up to check-in for the flight."