Iranians on missing Malaysia jet 'not terrorists'

Although the disappearence of the passenger plane has not ruled out the possibility of terrorism, it is not believed that two Iranian men who had boarded the flight w,th stolen passports were hijackers.

Iranians on missing Malaysia jet 'not terrorists'

World Bulletin / News Desk

While south-east Asian countries continue in their joint effort to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared on Saturday, it has been revealed that two men who boarded the plane with stolen passports were Iranians.

According to BBC Persian, a man living in Kuala Lumpur said that he had hosted the Iranian guests who had arrived from Tehran and were on their way to Beijing.

Although the disappearence of the passenger plane has not ruled out the possibility of terrorism, it is not believed that the two men were hijackers, as the BBC was told that they had only purchased the stolen Austian and Italian passports in an attempt to migrate to Europe.

Malaysian police on Tuesday identified one of two travelers using stolen passports on missing flight MH370 as Iranian teenager Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad.

Police Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar said that the 19-year-old, using a stolen Austrian passport, had intended to migrate to Germany.

“We know this because when he failed to arrive in Frankfurt, his mother contacted us and we were able to verify his information,” Khalid told a press conference in Malaysia's capital on Tuesday.

“After checking his background with other police organizations, including the Iranian authorities, we think that he is not likely to be a member of any terrorist group,” he added.

Khalid, however, said police have yet to rule out "terrorism" as a cause of the plane’s disappearance.

According to immigration officials, Pouria and his yet to be identified fellow traveler arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Phuket in Thailand on February 28 at around 8.30pm.

Both were given 90-day tourist visas.

“They arrived on the Austrian and Italian passports and cleared our immigration standard operating procedures and exited on March 7 evening using the same passports,” said Khalid.

Asked why the passports were not checked against the Interpol’s database, Khalid said the police normally acted on “prior intelligence.”

“The database is with the police. And although we work very closely with the immigration officers, there are 14,226,140 reports of stolen passports in the database," he said.

“We have to work by prior intelligence. Because we had no prior intelligence on terrorist activities the information on these two stolen passports were not give to the immigration,” Khalid told reporters.

He said that the police were focusing on four specific areas to explain the plane’s disappearance: hijacking, sabotage, and psychological problems or personal problems with the crew and passengers.

“We are currently looking into each passenger’s backgrounds and we have received information including all the photographs of the China nationals from the Public Security of China,” said Khalid.

Last Mod: 11 Mart 2014, 11:38
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