A Malaysia Airlines plane may have been hijacked and taken down in an act of terrorism, officials suspect after questions continue to mount over the identity of a number of passengers.
After losing contract with air traffic controllers, the plane crashed early on Saturday with 239 passengers and crew members on board. The plane is believed to have gone down off the coast of Vietnam, with search crews discovering an oil slick in the South China Sea later on Saturday in the suspected crash site.
The cause of the crash has yet to be determined, but increasing evidence points to a possible terrorist attack against the Malaysia Airlines plane.
But both investigators and government officials say it is too early to make any definite statements.
“We are looking at all possibilities,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said when asked if terrorism was a possible cause.
On Saturday, officials investigating the crash of Flight MH370 discovered that two people on board were using passports that had been stolen. The circumstance raised suspicions among American lawmakers, and prompted the FBI to get involved in the investigation.
“This gets our antenna up, for sure,” said Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee. “Once you hear that — stolen passports, a plane disappearing from the radar — you have to go to the full-court press.”
More evidence discovered Saturday pointed to a possible terrorism in the crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane. Authorities have not been able to verify the identities of two more European passengers on board the plane, and that the two unknown passengers had bought tickets with the pair who had stolen passports.
“The background checks with the embassies are being done but these two cannot be confirmed,” a source told The Malaysian Insider, adding that both were from the same country.
If the Malaysia Airlines plane was hijacked in an act of terrorism, it would be the 20 deadliest single act of terrorism in modern history.