Like other non-Middle Eastern Muslim societies, Malaysia has been aligning itself with Saudi Salafism and opting for a more rigid Islam. Now they got Salafism. So why are they mourning?
Official says Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was hijacked as Malaysian prime minister confirms plane disappearance a ‘deliberate action’
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that authorities now know the transponder on the jet was intentionally disabled, and the plane turned back from its flight to Beijing and flew across Malaysia. Najib said authorities are now trying to trace the plane across two possible ‘corridors’ — a northern corridor from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan through to northern Thailand, and a southern corridor from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
By Tim O’connor / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Friday, March 14, 2014, 10:12 AM
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (right) addresses reporters as acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein stands by him, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday.
Malaysia’s leader said Saturday the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was the result of “deliberate action.”
Earlier, a Malaysian official said it was “conclusive” the plane was hijacked. But Prime Minister Najib Razak said investigators are still looking at all possibilities.
Family members of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 react as they watch Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak speak in Kuala Lumpur from a television screen at a hotel in Beijing on Saturday.
Najib said authorities now know the missing Malaysia airliner’s transponder was intentionally disabled, and it turned back from its flight to Beijing and flew across Malaysia.
Najib also said investigators are now trying to trace the airplane across two possible “corridors” — a northern corridor from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan through to northern Thailand, and a southern corridor from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
Indonesian Search And Rescue personnel keep a lookout on a rescue ship that is headed to the Andaman Sea, searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean.
He said that the search in the South China Sea had ended, and the expanded search area is based on the latest available satellite data.
The international search for the missing Malaysian jetliner expanded further into the Indian Ocean on Friday amid signs the aircraft may have flown on for hours after its last contact with air-traffic control nearly a week ago.
“Clearly the search for MH370 has entered a new phase,” Najib said. “We hope this new information brings us one step closer to finding the plane.”
The Malaysian official who spoke of the hijacking said no motive has been established, and it is not yet clear where the plane was taken. The Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers and crew have been missing for a week.
A woman prepares to write a message for passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines plane at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Saturday.
He said investigators concluded one of the pilots or someone else with flying experience hijacked the jet.
Departing flights fill a screen at Kuala Lumpur Airport, where missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took off on March 8.
Later Friday, Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein was less definite, acknowledging at a press conference only that authorities are not discounting the possibility of a hijacking.
Hussein also said officials are scouring the aircraft’s manifest, researching everyone on it for leads.
A Philippine Navy crew member onboard the Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas Apolinario Mabini (Patrol Ship 36) scours the West Philippine Sea during a search for the missing Malaysia Airline plane.
A U.S. official in Washington on Friday said the plane may have been taken in “an act of piracy.”
The final satellite transmission from the missing airliner has been traced to the Indian Ocean off Australia, far from where searchers have focused their probe.
A Malaysia Airlines employee writes a message expressing prayers and well-wishes for passengers onboard the missing flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Friday.
The flight distance from Malaysia to Australia is about 3,000 miles, which would have been as far as the plane could have flown before running out of fuel. The last satellite signal put the plane about 1,000 miles west of Perth, Australia, Bloomberg News said.
Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein takes questions from journalists during a news conference.
The depth of the Indian Ocean there is about 10,000 feet there, making it some of the deepest water on Earth.
American officials said the plane’s altitude veered wildly after it disappeared from civilian radar, jumping first to 45,000 feet and then diving to 23,000 feet as it traveled off-course toward the Indian Ocean, CNN reported. It was at an appropriate 35,000 feet before it disappeared.
Crew members from the Royal Malaysian Air Force talk to each other onboard a Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft involved in search.
“What we can say is we are looking at sabotage, with hijack still in the cards,” a senior Malaysian police official told Reuters.
Malaysia Airlines Commercial Director Hugh Dunleavy sits in front of a large projection screen as he prepares for a briefing for the family members of passengers onboard the missing plane.
But as the investigation expanded westward into the Indian Ocean, hundreds of miles from its initial focus, pilot suicide was also another scenario under consideration.
Flight 370 last communicated with air traffic controllers about 40 minutes after taking off for Beijing from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. The most recent evidence to emerge in the international probe continued to support a belief that a massive catastrophe did not down the flight over the South China Sea, as first thought. The flight would have had to cross the South China Sea to get to China.
A relative of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 calls for calm as he tries to get journalists access to a press conference held at a hotel for relatives in Beijing.
The key evidence to surface was that the plane’s transponder stopped functioning roughly a dozen minutes before an onboard messaging system also quit, an American official told the AP.
If the plane was brought down by a major catastrophe a gap like that would not be seen, the source said.
A Royal Malaysian Navy ship, KD Selangor, is seen from onboard Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft during the search and rescue operation.
U.S. investigators said it’s unlikely a modern jetliner like the 777 would experience a total electronic failure that would have left the plane unable to communicate, yet able to keep flying.
Crew members look outside windows from a Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft during a search and rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Investigators said military radar is leading officials to suspect the plane was deliberately flown hundreds of miles off course toward the Indian Ocean after its communications equipment was shut down, sources told Reuters.
Investigators said Friday the airliner may have taken a path commonly used by planes going to the Middle East and Europe. Changing the flight’s course suggests a talented pilot was at the controls, a Malaysian official told the AP.
Clouds hang over the North Sentinel Island, in India’s southeastern Andaman and Nicobar Islands. India used heat sensors on flights over hundreds of uninhabited Andaman Sea islands Friday.
Hussein said it still has not been proven that the blip detected on military radar moving over the Malay Peninsula into the Strait of Malacca was in fact Flight 370.
India was using heat-seeking technology to search hundreds of islandsin the Andaman Sea.
More than 80 planes and ships from a dozen countries have scoured 35,000 square miles for wreckage. A team of five American experts is taking part in the probe, and the Kidd, an American guided-missile destroyer, has been sent to the Indian Ocean to aid in the search.
The search was expanded into the Indian Ocean after U.S. officials said the plane had sent signals to satellites for hours after its last contact with civilian air traffic control. The Boeing 777 is built with the technology to receive flight data from a satellite connection. The plane would automatically send pings, or signals, to the satellite.
Speculation that terrorists took control of the plane was briefly considered after it first vanished when it was discovered that two Iranian men boarded the plane with stolen passports. But authorities determined the two men were migrants seeking illegal passage to Europe.
No terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the plane’s disappearance, and experts have questioned why, if the jet was hijacked, those responsible didn’t crash it into a city or military installation.
The pilot suicide theory assumes the pilot detoured west to crash in the vast Indian Ocean, making it harder to find the wreck.
With News Wire Services