Saturday, March 22, 2014

Iran accused of hijacking MH 370 flight

It's 14 days now since Flight MH 370 disappeared without trace on a standard night flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, and still no definite news. The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 went missing from radar screens in the early hours of March 8 in one of the most baffling aviation mysteries in recent times.

The Times of Israel says that Israeli airline security experts - Israel is the nation with the greatest experience and expertise in airline security - believe the plane was hijacked.

Isaac Yeffet, who was head of global security for El Al, Israel's national airline, and now works as an aviation security consultant, says the evidence points to Iran. He points to the two Iranians who made it on to the plane with stolen passports.

"My guess is based on the stolen passports, and I believe Iran was involved. They hijacked the plane and they landed it in a place that nobody could see or find it." 

Shifting attention to the pilots and far-flung conspiracy theories, he says, was a mistake. Based on the Israeli intelligence strategy of profiling, the pilots were unlikely suspects. "We are talking about a captain who is 53 years old, who has worked for Malaysian Airlines for 30 years, and suddenly he becomes a terrorist? He wanted to commit suicide? If he committed suicide, where is the debris?"

 Eran Ramot, a former Israeli fighter pilot and head of aviation research at Israel's Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, says it would be very complicated for someone other than the pilot to have flown the plane. The flight made a U-turn from its planned route and dipped in between radar points for hours with all of its tracking systems turned off.

Like Yeffet, he believes the plane was intentionally flown to a secret location. He  is holding out hope that the 239 passengers and crew on board are still alive.

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