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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 15, 2014 - 12:21 am

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak faced the media Saturday to say authorities are sure enough about the track of their search for Flight MH370 to pull resources away from the South China Sea.

The Malaysia Airlines flight, which disappeared a week ago, is now being looked for in two corridors: the northern corridor runs from the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border to northern Thailand, while the southern corridor passes over Indonesia and heads into the Indian Ocean.

Razak stopped short of calling it a hijacking, but essentially confirmed reports that ruled out a catastrophic mechanical failure. “We are still investigating all possibilities as to what caused MH370 to deviate from its original flight path,” he said, but have “refocused” the probe on the crew and passengers. Soon after the leader said this, police reportedly finally searched the home of the pilot.

“We have put our national security second in the search for the missing plane,” the prime minister said before confirming that military radar detected MH370 crossing back over the Malaysian peninsula on its westward path.

Razak said countries located in the flight corridors that are now the focus of the search have been contacted so they can share radar data and “all relevant information” with the investigative teams, which include the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.

That northern corridor runs through Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Burma.

“Clearly the search for MH370 has entered a new phase,” Razak said. “Over the last seven days we have followed every lead…we hope this new information brings us one step closer to finding the plane.”

As of the press conference, 14 countries have been involved in the search with a total of 43 ships and 58 aircraft.

Malaysia has come under criticism, including from relatives of the missing, for its handling of the case and has been accused of withholding information. Razak was late to the press conference as he met with family members of some of the plane’s passengers.

“We realize this is an excruciating time for the families of those on board,” he said. “No words can describe the pain they must be going through.”

His lengthy statement then proceeded to address the rumors, laying out the facts as they now recognize them. “At every stage we acted on the basis of verified information and we followed every credible lead,” Razak said. “Sometimes these leads have led nowhere.”

“…We have a responsibility to the investigation and the families to only release information that has been corroborated and our primary motivation has always been to find the plane.”

The last known position of the plane, he confirmed, was the South China Sea before the transponder was deliberately turned off. The plane then doubled back over the peninsula and was caught on radar “proceeding on a path north of the Strait of Malacca.”

Given that “credible information,” the search was expanded to the Andaman Sea.

“Based on new satellite communication we can say with a high degree of certainty that the aircraft communication addressing and reporting system for aircraft was disabled just before the aircraft reached the east coast” of the Malaysian peninsula, he said. The jet “left primary radar coverage” when it was headed northwest.

“These movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane,” Razak said.

The prime minister said international partners separately studied the data and arrived at the same conclusion. Now investigators are using that last data point to calculate how far the aircraft might have flown. However, they are “unable to confirm the precise location of the plane when it last made contact with the satellite.”

 

 

 

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Was the NSA too busy listening to Americans having phone sex to see this coming? They are too swamped with illegal spying on Americans to do their actual job, foreign surveillance.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (54)
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Do radar facilities keep logs of tracks like ISP or telephone exchanges do?

If they do how long do they keep them?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
This has taken a lot of media attentiuon off of Ukraine.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Satellite data shows hijacked MH370 was last seen flying towards Pakistan OR Indian Ocean, says the Daily Mail." May be he decided to commit suicide by crashing the plane over the Himalayas. It reminds me of the beginning of "Lost Horizon" a 1930's novel by James Hilton that gave the English language the word "Shangri-La".
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Doomed airliner pilot was political fanatic: Hours before taking control of flight MH370 he attended trial of jailed opposition leader [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ushome/index.html]

"Police are investigating the possibility that the pilot of missing Flight MH370 hijacked his own aircraft in a bizarre political protest. The Mail on Sunday has learned that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah (top centre left) was an 'obsessive' supporter of Malaysia's opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim. His house and that of his co-pilot (left) has been raided by police, who found a flight simulator Shah built (right). Investigators revealed that hours before the doomed flight left Kuala Lumpur 53-year-old Shah attended a controversial trial in which Ibrahim was jailed for five years. "
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
From the article:

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was a fervent supporter of his country’s opposition leader who was jailed for homosexuality – illegal in Malaysia – only hours before flight MH370 vanished with 239 passengers and crew on board, the Sunday Mirror can reveal.

And in a new twist, it emerged that the pilot’s wife and three children moved out of the family’s home the day before the plane’s disappearance.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been watching the news on and off all day and have yet to hear about the scandal of dirty harry and that pub. senator from Utah selling their high office favors. the f.b.i. was set upon by the d.o.j. for trying to further the investigation. gubberment gone wild.

its no wonder they get away w/ all their criminal activities. NOTHING on the news but this airplane stuff. easy to distract the masses when you control the media I guess.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just to balance the puzzling presumption that followers of the Religon of Peace may have been involved....


Let me remind all that The Little Sisters of the Poor have been involved in litigation regarding the Affordable Care Act.

Be careful out there.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is it with the Obummer administration reducing women to "sex machines "? This sounds like the real "War on Women"!! When I was young & needed birth control pills I bought my own damn birth control pills!! I did without luxury items like a car, so I could pay for my health insurance AND birth control pills & everything else I needed.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is now being reported that the plane may have flown seven hours after turning off the transponder.

The plane also threaded through radar detection, a military maneuver.

This looks more and more like a military operation. Landing at a military controlled location would give the backup control systems for hostage control, information suppression and "next steps".

Muslims Behaving Badly would suggest some state actors, but the pinpointing of which...is large. Making the where...even larger. Seven hours would cover a huge geography.

The Iranians with stolen passports may have military training, but now the thinking may be to help the Muslim pilot, not overpower him.

As for the passengers...who knows which ones may also be part of the plot or have knowledge and experience that is being extracted...willingly or otherwise.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't think for an instant that EVERY other terrorist organization on earth isn't learning PLENTY about the weaknesses of air travel security/communications from this tragedy!!
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't understand why it is allowed that transponder can be turned off. For what reason would you give the crew that capability in a commercial jet liner? So they could play hide and seek? Nevertheless, I understand that it just takes the flip of a switch in the 777. However, there is apparently also radio communications and an automatic reporting system that sends plane data continually. These are supposedly hard wired into the plane. Something doesn't smell right in all of this reporting.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please remember that there are many things on a plane that authorities cannot quite disclose. I am sure there are fixed transponders in every plane since 9/11. Authorities must know a few things they cannot disclose. If the US is able to track every plane on the planet -- most specially one MADE by an American company -- that should be a very well guarded secret. In time they will find a way to disclose the info they have without making the bad guys aware of things they should not know. My 2 cents.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Likely reason to steal THIS plane: It is carrying Something Worth Stealing or Smuggling.

QUESTION: Where had this plane been in the 24 hours prior to this flight? Where had its passengers been in same time frame? This may be impossible to track, but overseas hotels often require identity papers. They would also likely have credit card trails that could be Sherlocked. If you find a few who do not have trails, you may have a "non-barking dog" on which to concentrate further research.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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