I, personally, do not buy into the terrorist scenario.
The lack of information is anguishing for the families, as you can imagine.
The lack of information has also caused wild speculation and fears throughout the media.
I promised to keep Readers informed on developments.
There was press conference on the missing passports today [actually tomorrow, as the earth turns]. The passport information has developed substantially.
I think you should see this for yourself.
It is now morning in Australia. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
There you will also see video showing the passports.
There is also coverage of the current situation with the families.
Below I have reprinted the background information on the Passport mystery from my earlier Diary: Six Mysteries about missing Malaysian plane after a 48 hour search.
Mystery Two -- What about the Phony Passports?
Early on, rumors persisted that the plane had made an emergency landing somewhere in China. The basis for this rumor was that two passengers on the flight manifest, an Austrian and an Italian, were not on the plane. This was announced by their embassies shortly after the flight vanished. One of the Europeans called his parents from Thailand shortly after the plane went missing to tell them he was fine -- after learning that he was identified as a passenger on board the missing airplane.
So, why were two forged EU passports used on this flight? Both passports were reported stolen within the past two years; one stolen from an Italian was taken from his rental car when he returned the vehicle in August in Malaysia. The second passport was stolen from an Austrian man in Thailand two years ago. Both were reported to Interpol at the time.
Were the two forged-passport passengers sitting together? It is not clear how passengers could board a major airline such as Malaysian Airways with stolen passports. Interpol maintains a database of more than 39 million travel documents reported lost or stolen by 166 countries, which enables police, immigration or border control officers to check the validity of a travel document within seconds.
U.S. officials said they are looking at whether this could be terrorism, as they would with any plane crash until proved otherwise. Though two of the passengers apparently used stolen passports, “there is no indication this is a terrorist attack; stolen passports are certainly not indicative of a terrorist attack,” a senior counter terrorism official said, adding, "No known terrorist link has surfaced, and no organization has claimed responsibility for downing the plane."
An official at the Department of Homeland Security said it would be a first if the plane was brought down by two terrorists who boarded the jet carrying stolen passports. "We've never seen that," he said. "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."
There is a brisk global trade in passports and other false or stolen travel documents. There are millions of such documents in use for a wide variety of reasons.
The two such documents being used were under the names Christian Kozel (Austria) and Luigi Maraldi (Italy). Both passports were stolen in Thailand at different times.
China was not the final destination of the individuals using these passports on the missing Malaysia airlines flight. They were changing planes in Beijing to a KLM flight to continuing on to Amsterdam, that same day.
Once in Amsterdam, "Maraldi" was holding tickets to continue on to Copenhagen, Denmark. "Kozel" was booked through to Frankfurt, Germany. All flights were booked for March 8th.
This information is via KLM, which was the carrier that would complete the journey.
Once the passengers had entered the Netherlands using the passports, they would be free to travel throughout Europe.
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