Terrorism less likely

The Herald reports:

Interpol has identified the two men travelling on stolen passports on a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.

Both were Iranians who boarded the plane at the same time.

Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble said last night the two men travelled to Malaysia on their Iranian passports, then apparently switched to the stolen Austrian and Italian documents.

He named them as Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, 19, and Delavar Syed Mohammad Reza, 29, and said information discovered about them made terrorism a less likely cause of the plane’s disappearance.

The terrorism theory weakened after Malaysian authorities determined that one of the two men was an Iranian asylum seeker.

Malaysian police chief Khalid Tan Sri told reporters the 19-year-old Iranian man was believed to be planning to enter Germany to seek asylum. He said the man was not believed to be a member of a terrorist group.

He said the young man’s mother was waiting for him in Frankfurt and had been in contact with the police. He said she contacted Malaysian authorities to inform them of her concern when her son didn’t get in touch with her.

Still not sure why the stolen passports were needed, especially as they managed to leave Iran on their Iranian passports. The mystery continues, but sort of reassuring that terrorism is less likely.  Hopefully the plane wreckage will be located in the near future.

Stuff reports:

Malaysia’s military believes it tracked a missing jetliner by radar, flying low over the Strait of Malacca, far from where it last made contact with civilian air traffic control off the country’s east coast, a military source says.

In one of the most baffling mysteries in recent aviation history, a massive search operation for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, now in its fourth day, has so far found no trace of the aircraft or the 239 passengers and crew.

“It changed course after Kota Bharu and took a lower altitude. It made it into the Malacca Strait,” the military official, who has been briefed on investigations, said.

The Strait of Malacca, one of the world’s busiest shipping channels, runs along Malaysia’s west coast. The airline said on Saturday (local time) that radio and radar contact with Flight MH370 was lost off the east coast Malaysian town of Kota Bharu.

The development injects more mystery into the investigation of the disappearance of Saturday’s flight, and raises questions about why the aircraft was not transmitting signals detectable by civilian radar.

The mystery deepens.

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