Mystery Malaysia Passengers IDed

Still no trace of missing Boeing 777

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 11, 2014 5:16 AM CDT | Updated Mar 11, 2014 7:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – Another day of searching has yielded no trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, but investigators have solved one of the mysteries surrounding the missing plane. The two passengers who boarded using stolen passports have been identified as Iranian men Pouria Nour Mohammadi, 18, and Delavar Seyed Mohammad Reza, 29, CNN reports. Neither has any known links to terror groups. And Interpol this morning indicated that terrorism seemed unlikely: "The more information we get, the more we are inclined to conclude it is not a terrorist incident," Secretary General Ronald Noble said today. Further details and developments:

  • Investigators believe Mohammadi was planning to seek asylum in Germany, where his mother contacted authorities after he failed to arrive in Frankfurt. A source tells the BBC that the other passenger may also have been planning to settle in Europe. Both left Qatar using their Iranian passports, then switched to the stolen passports to board the Malaysia Airlines flight.
  • But Malaysian police haven't ruled anything out, and say they are focusing on four areas: hijacking, sabotage, psychological problems among passengers and crew, and personal problems among passengers and crew, reports the Guardian. "Other than mechanical problems, these are the main areas of concern," a police spokesman says. Asked what he meant by personal problems, he gave the example of passengers with unusually large life insurance policies.
  • The search—now involving at least 40 ships and 34 aircraft from nine countries—has been expanded to the sea on both sides of the Malaysian peninsula, though Malaysia Airlines has retracted an earlier statement saying the western side is now the main focus, the AP reports. A spokesman for the Vietnamese military says a search is also taking place on land in case the plane crashed into mountains or jungle.

A vessel is seen from an Antonov AN-26 aircraft of the Vietnam Air Force during the search operation over the Gulf of Thailand between Malaysia and Vietnam today.   (AP Photo/Na Son Nguyen)
Pictures of Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, left, and the man on the right, his identity still not released, are held up by a Malaysian policewoman during a press conference today.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
A Malaysian policewoman holds up a picture of a 19-year-old Iranian, identified as Pouria Nour Muhammad Mehrdad, who boarded the now missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 with a stolen passport.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
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