Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Secret services involvement in investigation sparks speculation over terrorism

Frustrated Chinese families protest against authorities as US naval officer says search could take years

Malaysian authorities have revealed secret services from the UK, the US and China have been involved in the investigations into the disappearance of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, adding to speculation that the plane’s disappearance could be down to terrorism.

MI6, the CIA and Chinese agencies have been looking into the flight simulator found in the home of the flight’s Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, though acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the FBI has found nothing sinister in the device.

He said the Inspector General of Police has highlighted the “ four possible scenarios of what could have caused the plane to disappear, which are terrorism, hijacking, personal and psychological problems, or technical failure.

“These scenarios have been discussed at length with different intelligence agencies,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chinese relatives of the passengers on board the missing Malaysia airlines flight MH370 have flown to Kuala Lumpur in frustration to try and find answers from authorities, as an American naval officer has said the search could take years.

 

The relatives claim they have not been given enough new information from authorities dealing with the search, and on Sunday held a press conference in which they held up banners and the Chinese flag, chanting: “We want evidence, truth, dignity.”

The group, of which some have accused Malaysian withholding information, held up banners that read: “You must return relatives of MH370, no strings attached”.

They have demanded an apology from authorities for its handling of the disaster, and for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s earlier statement that suggested the plane had crashed with no survivors.

Two-thirds of the 227 passengers on board the flight that went missing on 8 March were Chinese. Jiang Hui, the relatives’ designated representative, said the group felt the decision that there would be no survivors was made without sufficient evidence.

Malaysia’s acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Saturday the search for survivors would continue, claiming “we are hoping against hope that we will find survivors”.

But a U.S. naval officer on Sunday suggested the search could take years.

U.S. Navy Captain Mark Matthews told journalists at Stirling Naval Base in Perth, Australia: “Right now the search area is basically the size of the Indian Ocean, which would take an untenable amount of time to search.”

He added: “If you compare this to the Air France flight 447, we had much better positional information of where that aircraft went into the water.” The Air France flight which crashed in 2009 near Brazil was missing for two years before it was found.

Captain Matthews is in charge of the U.S. Towed Pinger Locator (TPL), an unmanned underwater vehicle designed to locate the aircraft’s black box, which can trace pings emitted from as deep as 6,000 meters underwater. It has been loaded onto the Australian warship Ocean Shield as it sets off to the search area along with other acoustic detection equipment.

Ships from China and Australia managed to retrieve “objects from the ocean” on Saturday, but none have been “confirmed or related” to flight MH370, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is overseeing the search.

There are now 10 ships and 10 aircraft searching a massive area in the Indian Ocean to the west of Perth, in a race to find the crucial black box recorder before its batteries are expected to die in the coming days.

The search zone is roughly the size of Poland and it is expected to take Ocean Shield three to four days to travel the 1,150 miles from Perth to reach the designated area.

The black box could hold the key to understanding what happened to the flight when it disappeared three weeks ago. The device consists of two boxes that record vital information; one is a cockpit recorder that stores conversations and other noises from the area, while the other records a stream of flight information.

 

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?