Malaysia Airlines investigation: Live Report

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The mother of a passenger on a missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane, talks on a mobile phone at her house in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur — 04:55 GMT – Search goes on – Rescuers are still hunting for the whereabouts of the twin-engine plane which mysteriously disappeared from radar screens somewhere between Malaysia’s east coast and southern Vietnam.

Flight MH370 sent no distress signal or reports of rough weather, or other signs of trouble, and both Malaysia’s national carrier and the Boeing 777-200 model used on the route are known for their solid safety records.

But about one hour into the flight, it dropped from radar screens.

Adding to the mystery are the two passengers who appear to have been using stolen EU passports.

An Austrian, named in reports as Christian Kozel, had his passport pinched in Thailand in 2012, while Italian Luigi Maraldi, 37, had his stolen last year, also in Thailand, officials and sources have said.

Despite their names being on the passenger manifest, neither man was on the flight.

FBI join investigation

04:52 GMT – US built – The US National Transportation Safety Board could also send a team to join the investigation because the plane was built in the US by Boeing, according to the FBI official.

04:50 GMT – Passports – The stolen passports used by two passengers on the plane are believed to have come from an Italian and an Austrian.

But a Department of Homeland Security official told the media that “just because they were stolen doesn’t mean the travelers were terrorists. They could have been nothing more than thieves. Or they could have simply bought the passports on the black market.”

04:48 GMT – Video scan – The FBI official stressed there was “no evidence” of terrorism thus far, but added FBI personnel will help review video from the Kuala Lumpur airport for images of passengers at the ticket counter, security sections and the boarding area.

The agents can then use counterterrorism technology to find any possible matches with known members of Al-Qaeda or other terror groups.

04:46 GMT – FBI involved – Earlier US media reported the FBI is sending agents and technical experts to assist in the investigation of the missing plane that had several Americans aboard.

US officials told The Los Angeles Times they are trying to determine whether there was any terror link to what caused Flight 370 to go missing as it carried 239 people from Kuala Lumpur toward Beijing.

“But so far, what happened is a mystery,” an official told the newspaper.

04:41 GMT – Terror link – The minister says Malaysia is probing “four names” over airline security fears.

04:33 GMT – WELCOME TO AFP’s LIVE REPORT as Malaysia looks at a possible terror link in the disappearance of an airliner believed to have gone down in the sea with 239 people aboard.

The country’s transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, says Malaysian security agencies are investigating after it was discovered that two passengers may have boarded missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 using stolen passports, raising fears of potential terrorism.

“At the same time our own intelligence have been activated, and of course, the counterterrorism units… from all the relevant countries have been informed.”


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