One more unique thread of evidence has been woven into the tapestry of missing flight MH370. Investigators discovered that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah received a two-minute call shortly before take-off from a mystery woman using a mobile phone number obtained under a false identity.
Significantly, Malaysian lawmakers instituted an anti-terrorism measure following 9/11: anyone purchasing a pay-as-you-go SIM card in Malaysia has to fill out a form giving their valid identity card or passport number. However, in this instance police traced the number to a shop selling SIM cards in Kuala Lumpur. Moreover, investigators confirmed that it had been purchased “very recently” by someone who gave a woman’s name but was using a fake ID.
The recent information triggers more suspicion of Captain Shah’s complicity in the disappearance of the Boeing 777 that left Kuala Lumpur 16 days ago, as terror groups routinely use untraceable SIM cards for their members. All others who spoke with Zaharie on his phone in the hours before the flight took off have been interviewed. The fact that the call came in just before takeoff has increased scrutiny of Zaharie. He has already drawn much suspicion for owning a flight simulator to practice difficult landings. The device shows that he had been practicing landings, including to remote Indian Ocean islands such as the US air base in Diego Garcia.
Meanwhile, investigators are now ready to question Captain Shah’s estranged wife, Faizah Khan, in more detail. So far, they have waited two weeks out of respect for cultural considerations. One source indicated that “it is not considered appropriate in Malaysia to subject people in situations of terrible bereavement to the stress of intensive questioning.”
The FBI is urgent to extract information from her and has not been happy with the length of time it has taken to interview Khan. “The whole world is looking for this missing plane carrying 239 people and the person who arguably knows most about the state of mind of the man who captained the plane is being left alone,” said a source close to the FBI team.
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