News / Asia

Malaysia Military Denies Tracking Missing Jetliner

A Vietnamese Air Force crew member checks a map while searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight off Vietnam's island Phu Quoc on March 11, 2014.
A Vietnamese Air Force crew member checks a map while searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight off Vietnam's island Phu Quoc on March 11, 2014.
VOA News
The Malaysian military is backing away from reports that it tracked a missing passenger jet far away from its intended flight path, casting further doubt on the plane's whereabouts. 
 
In a statement released Wednesday, Air Force chief Rodzali Daud said he could not rule out that the Malaysia Airlines jetliner veered drastically off course. But he said a media report that claimed the military tracked the jet over the Strait of Malacca was "clearly an inaccurate and incorrect report."
 
The Strait of Malacca is off the west coast of the Malaysia peninsula and is hundreds of kilometers from where civilian air traffic controllers lost contact with the Boeing 777. The initial search for the plane had focused mainly on the South China Sea, which lies off the east coast. 
 
The plane, with 239 people on board, disappeared from civilian radar without any distress calls about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing early Saturday.
 
The Boeing 777 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished early Saturday, less than an hour after takeoff, without sending a distress signal.

Turning off the transponder would make the aircraft unidentfiable to civilian controllers, but it would remain visible to the type of radar used by militaries.

No apparent terror link

The head of Interpol says the jet's disappearance does not appear to be related to terrorism. However, the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency said Tuesday that terrorism could not be ruled out.

"You cannot discount any theory,"' CIA Director John Brennan said in Washington.

Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble says new information about two Iranian men who used stolen passports to board the plane makes terrorism a less likely explanation for the jet's disappearance.

The international police agency released photos showing the two boarding the plane at the same time.  They are identified as Pouri Nourmohammadi, 19, and Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, 29.

Malaysian Police Inspector General Khalid Tan Sri says the 19 year old was likely trying to migrate to Germany.

These images released by Interpol show Pouri Nourmohammadi, 19, (left) and Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, 29, who allegedly boarded the missing Malaysia Airlines jet with stolen passports.These images released by Interpol show Pouri Nourmohammadi, 19, (left) and Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, 29, who allegedly boarded the missing Malaysia Airlines jet with stolen passports.
"We have been checking his background.  We have also checked him with other police organizations on his profile, and we believe that he is not likely to be a member of any terrorist group," the inspector told reporters. "And we believe that he is trying to migrate to Germany."

Khalid said Nourmohammadi's mother knew he was traveling on a stolen passport.

The other man's identity is still under investigation.  But the development reduces the likelihood they were working together as part of a terror plot.
 
Meanwhile, an extensive review of all of those on board continues.

  • A Malaysian police official displays a photograph of 19-year-old Iranian Pouri Nourmohammadi, one of the two men who boarded missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight using stolen European passports.
  • A Malaysian police woman holds up a picture of Pouri Nourmohammadi, 19, an Iranian who boarded the now missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 with a stolen passport.
  • This combination of images released by Interpol and displayed by Malaysian police in Sepang, Malaysia, on March 11, 2014, shows Pouri Nourmohammadi, 19, (left) and Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, 29, who allegedly boarded the now-missing Malaysia Airlines jet
  • Military officer Duong Van Lanh works onboard a Vietnamese airforce AN-26 during a mission to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 off Tho Chu islands March 11, 2014.
  • A Chinese relative of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane looks out as she waiting for the latest news inside a hotel room for relatives or friends of passengers aboard the missing airplane in Beijing, China, March 11, 2014.
  • Family members comfort Chrisman Siregar, left, and his wife Herlina Panjaitan, the parents of Firman Siregar, one of the Indonesian citizens registered on the manifest of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner flight MH370 that went missing, Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, March 9, 2014.

  • Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation's Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman briefs reporters at a press conference on search and recovery efforts within existing and new areas for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane,Sepang, Malaysia, March 10, 2014.




  • A family member of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane wipes her tears at a hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia, March 10, 2014. 
  • Chinese relatives of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane wait for the latest news inside a hotel room, Beijing, China, March 10, 2014. 
  • CEO of Malaysia Airlines Ignatius Ong, center, gestures as he prepares to speak to the media near a hotel room for relatives or friends of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines airplane, Beijing, China, March 10, 2014. 
  • People hold a banner and candles during a candlelight vigil for passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 10, 2014. 
  • Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation director general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, second from left, speaks during a press conference at a hotel in Sepang, Malaysia, March 10, 2014. 
  • Italian Luigi Maraldi, left, whose stolen passport was used by a passenger boarding a missing Malaysian airliner, shows his passport as he reports himself to Thai police Lt. Gen. Panya Mamen, right, at Phuket police station in Phuket province, southern Thailand, March 9, 2014.
  • A U.S. Navy helicopter lands aboard Destroyer USS Pinckney during a crew swap before returning to a search and rescue mission for the missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand, March 9, 2014. 

​Khalid says authorities are looking into four possible scenarios in connection with the plane's disappearance: hijacking, sabotage, personal disputes and the psychological condition of those on board.
 
"There may be somebody on the flight who has bought huge sums of insurance. Who wants the family to gain from it. Or somebody who owes so much money and you know," he said, adding that they are looking at all possibilities.

Air Malaysia says it is in negotiations regarding financial aid with relatives of the Chinese passengers on board.

Cockpit visitors

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines is also looking into an Australian television report that the co-pilot of the missing plane once invited two women into the cockpit during a flight.

Jonti Roos said she and her friend stayed in the cockpit during the one-hour flight on Dec. 14, 2011, from Phuket, Thailand, to Kuala Lumpur. She also said the crew smoked during the flight.

"Malaysia Airlines has become aware of the allegations being made against First Officer Fariq Ab Hamid which we take very seriously. We are shocked by these allegations. We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident,'' the airline said.

Some information in this report was provided by Reuters news agency and VOA's William Ide in Beijing.

You May Like

Ferguson Grand Jury Expected to Reconvene

It remains unclear when jurors will reach a decision on whether to indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: rizwana from: uk
March 12, 2014 6:42 AM
Haven't got any words to say what happened with 229 people on board.its 4th day today.


by: Anonymous
March 12, 2014 3:06 AM
no in water I think


by: Dr. Q. Lickme from: D.C.
March 11, 2014 9:18 PM
"You cannot discount any theory,"' CIA Director John Brennan said in Washington.

And the American people know for a FACT that the CIA funds Al Qaeda from offshore banks, so go screw yourself, Brennan, you FREAK!


by: jr from: br
March 11, 2014 7:57 PM
a great mistery. i thougt things like that does not occur anymore, save in films. i regret it.


by: Fred Zepellin from: USA
March 11, 2014 6:20 PM

I hate to say it but the search needs to be expanded to airfields that can handle a 777 in Pakistan, Afghanistan, possibly Iran or other like minded countries. The aircraft will be weaponized and used against western interests somewhere in the world. Lets face that possibility and get something done.


by: Daniel Marrin from: New York, NY
March 11, 2014 5:30 PM
The two of them most likely knew each other if they got seats next to each other, and were on both that flight and the connecting flight to Amsterdam. Whatever the intention was, it was probably the same one.


by: Tynne from: South Africa
March 11, 2014 4:52 PM
I read on another site that the plane would have had about 7.5hrs of fuel, perhaps they should extend their search by 7.5hrs going all directions. I thought this is the kind of story that happened on 'Lost' the TV series. At this moment, no-one knows for sure what happened and all possibilities should be considered. I hope they do search the entire perimeter 7.5hrs of Kuala Lumpur. Maybe they are searching in the wrong place. Hoping for the best, this is a disturbing story. I feel sad about all those people and their loved ones on the ground


by: meanbill from: USA
March 11, 2014 4:42 PM
CRAZY isn't it? ...... I said from the first day, to check the old WW2 British airfields in Burma and Thailand..
Why the high-jacking? .. unknown? ...... REALLY


by: Fahim from: Colombo
March 11, 2014 3:54 PM
From the capacity of a telecom engineer, I can comment that if the phone rings combination of Telecom switch (The device which switch the calls - MSC and the HLR (Home location register)) will have the Cell ID informaation, in layman terms the telecom devices have the knowledge of which Cell tower currently the phones are connected to, Hence the operators clearly can confirm, whether the missing phones either really connected to the network or is it just the Early ringing before connecting to the real handset.

The VAS services (Value Added services) also have the information of this kind.

QQ or online services can confirm from which IP address the logins of the missing persons connected and all the IP addresses can be traced back to (Geo Location, the end device location and the access last mile portion) hence it can be simply verified within couple of minutes.

I don't know why the operators and the online services do not confirm it yet.


by: Mark from: Virginia
March 11, 2014 3:35 PM
beginning to sound a lot like a Hitchcock movie...so many unknowns coming into the picture after a devastating event. There will probably be a twist at the end to throw EVERYONE off, like a sudden cabin depressurization and/or mechanical malfunction that crippled the plane, the rest of the 'coincidences' being just that, coincidence. Then again, it may still be an act of terrorism, but carried out by none of the 'usual suspects'. No one may be taking responsibility because no one may have known it was going to happen. Or, it may have been a plot to draw attention away from the problems in the Crimea, or....
you get the idea....
It could have been anything.. the unfortunate part of it all, is that 200+ people had to die.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid