The tragedy of the 239-passenger flight, bound for China this past week, has been somewhat of a mystery. However, recent investigation into the cause of the possible crash may provide some hints that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which started its journey in Kuala Lumpur, was victim to terrorism. The focus of recent analysis has been four unidentified passengers aboard the flight, including two that managed to slip through security with stolen passports. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage has been among the most significant evidence so far, revealing two of the unknown travelers who yielded the “hot” documents.
Unfortunately, Malaysian airport authorities failed to do a check of all passports on an international database, which could have prevented the mystery men from boarding the plane. Why this protocol, practiced very strictly in the U.S., was not utilized is also a mystery. The discovery of this sinister situation was uncovered after Malaysia Airlines released a list of all ill-fated passengers. Soon after, Malaysian authorities were contacted with claims that certain international travelers had not actually been aboard. According to the Austrian Foreign Ministry, one of their citizens who had made the tragic list was actually alive and “…safe and sound” Apparently, the gentleman’s passport had been stolen two years prior while spending time in Thailand.
Contact was made by Italy’s foreign ministry regarding yet another person claimed, by Malaysia Airlines, to have been on flight MH370. Italy confirmed that, in fact, no Italian citizens were on the flight, despite one citizen of the European country being listed on the manifest. Luigi Maraldi, the Italian in question had also been the victim of passport theft and was fine, vacationing Thailand – also where his passport had been stolen in 2013. Although both passports were stolen from the same area, there is nothing to indicate a connection between these two, very much alive, people. Moreover, background checks indicate no foul play by either person. Still, the recent investigation into the Malaysia Airlines disaster has caused hints of terrorism to be raised, and U.S. analysts are weighing in.
Former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes pointed to the recent evidence, saying: “You wonder who was using [the stolen passport]? He further questioned motives of the mystery men, implying the passports could have been a way to match up to explosive-laden baggage. Former inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mary Schiavo added, “It’s rare that you have one stolen passport, much less two… It’s starting to look like more than a coincidence…”
Perhaps the most pressing issue here is not that the mystery men boarded the plane, but how that was made possible. With so many forgeries, fakes, and stolen documents circulating – there are apparently 39 million current cases of stolen passports – it seems to be all the more important for authorities to do background checks. This may have been the blunder that led to the ultimate tragedy of flight MH370. In today’s world, there are constant threats and hints of terrorism, and Malaysia Airlines is not necessarily exempt from an investigation into such possibilities. At this time, however, there is still no official explanation on the flight’s disappearance.
By Josh Taub