Malaysia Airlines men with fake passports "no terror link"
The two men who traveled on stolen passports on the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft were Iranians with no apparent links to terror groups, according to officials. Police in Malaysia have released the name of one as Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, 18. It is believed that he was probably migrating to Germany, the BBC reports. Interpol's Secretary General Ronald Noble identified the other Iranian man as Delavar Seyed Mohammadreza, 29, speaking in paris on Tuesday. The two men were earlier this week discovered to have plans to head to Amsterdam after landing in Beijing, China. They were traveling under Italian and Austrian identities. But the flight from Kuala Lumpur never made it and is still missing.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing on Saturday, after taking off from Kuala Lumpur with 239 passengers on board. Experts said that traveling on stolen passports is a breach of security, but common in an area that is regarded as a hub for illegal migration. The passports were reportedly stolen in Thailand. Malaysia's police chief Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar said the young Iranian man, Mehrdad, was "not likely to be a member of a terrorist group" dismissing the variously sourced speculations that this indident was a terrorist activity. Abu Bakar added that the authorities were in contact with the man's mother in Germany, who had been expecting her son to arrive in Frankfurt. Ronald Noble from Interpol said the two Iranians swapped their Iranian passports in Kuala Lumpur for stolen ones of Italian and Austrian origin to board the aircraft. The BBC has received an account given by a young Iranian living in Kuala Lumpur. He claims to be a school friend of one of the men who stole a passport to get on the flight. He says the friend and another Iranian stayed with him before taking the flight, and communicated hopes to settle in Europe. According to Thai sources, the Iranian men booked tickets through a Thai travel agent and an Iranian middleman. These tickets would go from Beijing to Amsterdam, and then on to their respective destinations. As for the investigation into what happened to the aircraft, there is still nothing to go on. At least 40 ships and 34 aircrafts are taking part in the search, trawling the seas off the coasts of Vietnam and Malaysia for any sign of debris or oil slicks that could be related to the aircraft. Search teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand and the United States of America are also assisting. The search is now being widened, and new theories are being looked into. Malaysia Airlines said it was considering the possibility that the plane tried to turn back, heading instead for an airport at Subang, near Kuala Lumpur. According to the Washington Post, families of the missing passengers were kept in a conference area of the Lido Hotel in Beijing, awaiting further information. Some of the families were reportedly calling their missing loved ones, and hearing a ringing tone on the other end. This has caused them much confusion and anger, as they await the traumatic incident to be resolved.