As the possibility–however remote–grows that Malaysia Airlines flight 370 may have been hijacked and taken to a hidden location, Israeli authorities are preparing for the possibility that the hijackers might attempt to use the Boeing 777 to mount an attack.
According to the Times of Israel, Israel’s Channel 2 has revealed that Israeli air defenses have been boosted, and approaching civilian aircraft will be asked to identify themselves far earlier.
Though the flight was presumed at first to have crashed, whole or in pieces, into the ocean, passive satellite transmissions from the aircraft suggest that it made a deliberate course change and may have headed north into central Asia.
Pakistan has already said that the flight never registered on its radar, but at least one expert has suggested the flight could have landed in Bangladesh, whose air defenses presumably would be weaker.
Though the possibility that the Boeing 777 could be used in a terror attack is mere speculation, it is evidently being taken seriously by Israel. A plane filled with nuclear material would not need to be in Israeli airspace long to do catastrophic damage, even if shot down.
There are no reports yet that the U.S. is taking similar measures, and U.S. officials have suggested recently that the likeliest fate of flight 370 was a crash into the Indian Ocean.