COUNTERRORISM: Malayasian Jet Disappearance Still a Mystery UPDATE
Looking for Answers
UPDATES with U.S. military’s participation in the search, adds photos, video link.
There are more questions than answers in the continuing mystery of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER which disappeared last Saturday (March 8).
While we at 4GWAR are not going to report every new development – there are many rumors and far too much speculation flying around the Internet – we will note significant updates as they occur.
It turns out that the two people on board Flight MH370 travelling with stolen passports were identified as Iranian men, but INTERPOL, the international police agency, says there is nothing to indicate either man was involved in a terrorist plot. Nevertheless, the revelation that these two were able to fly with stolen travel documents exposed a major gap in airline security and is expected to goad more nations into checking the INTERPOL database of stolen passports and travel documents before allowing passengers to board. Last year, INTERPOL, officials said, one billion travelers were able to board flights without having their passports checked against the database.
Military aircraft and naval vessels from at least eight nations — including the U.S.Navy (see below) — have joined the search in and around the South China Sea. So far, no debris or wreckage has been spotted. Confusing and contradictory information from Malaysian authorities about what they know has angered the families of missing passengers and frustrated the Chinese government among others.
Malaysian authorities say the missing plane and its 239 passengers and crew may have flown hundreds of miles west of its scheduled flight plan after it disappeared from local radar. And a Chinese government agency said one of its satellites may have spotted the missing plane’s wreckage.
The USS Pinckney and USS Kidd – both Arleigh Burke-class destroyers with the U.S. Seventh Fleet — are on station in the Gulf of Thailand conducting search-and-rescue operations, the Pentagon said Monday (May 10).
Two Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopters are flying off the ships to aid the search, using forward-looking infrared pods to search at night. A P-3 Orion from Kadena Air Base, Japan, is also being employed in the search. The Orion brings long-range search, radar and communications capabilities to the efforts. It can loiter in the search area for about nine hours at a time.
Additionally, the USNS John Ericsson, an oiler, is providing logistical support. The American ships are working with ships from Malaysia, China and Singapore in the search effort.
To see more photos, click here.
To view a video report from The Pentagon Channel, click here.
Entry filed under: Aircraft, Asia-Pacific, Counter Terrorism, Homeland Security, National Security and Defense, Naval Warfare, News Developments, Photos, Technology. Tags: aerospace, air disasters, China, counter terrorism, Defense, Homeland Security, Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines plane missing, Navy.