16 March 2014
A missing Malaysian airliner was apparently deliberately diverted and flown for hours after vanishing from radar, Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday, stopping short of confirming a hijack but taking the excruciating search for the jet into uncharted new territory.
Najib said investigators believed “with a high degree of certainty” that systems relaying Malaysia Airlines flight 370’s location to air traffic control were manually switched off before the jet veered westward in a fashion “consistent with deliberate action”. But a grave-looking Najib told a press conference watched around the globe that he could not confirm whether the plane had been forcibly taken over.
… “Investigations should focus on criminal and terrorist motives,” said Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. “It is likely that the aircraft was hijacked by a team knowledgeable about airport and aircraft security. It is likely they are supported by a competent team from the ground.”
GPO / ICPVTR / RSIS / Print
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