Twenty-four hours after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared over the South China Sea, the only clue to the fate of its 239 passengers and crew was the revelation that at least two people on board were using stolen passports.
The disclosure raised fears that terrorists could have used the passport to board the craft, which vanished with no prior signals of trouble to air traffic controllers.
The plane was heading from the Malaysia to China, where last week 33 people were killed and 143 injured in a terrorist attack in the south-western city of Kunming. The attack, in which a gang of men ran amok in a Chinese railway station, was blamed on pro-separatist ethnic Uigurs, who come from the mainly Muslim areas of the Xinjiang region that borders Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some Chinese media have branded it the country’s own “9-11”.
Too soon to say for certain that this angle is worth anything here, though the unusual situation with the passports is worth keeping an eye on.
Also, the Americans on the flight have been identified.
15:44 // 3 hours ago