(NaturalNews) New evidence suggests that terrorists with ties to the al Qaeda organization may have had a hand in the strange, and still unexplained, disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
The International Business Times (IBT) has reported that 11 suspected terrorists were arrested recently in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, as well as in the state of Kedah, and have been under interrogation over suspicions of being involved in the disappearance of the aircraft and all of its passengers.
The paper said the suspected terrorists are believed to be members of a violent organization that has allegedly been planning to attack Muslim countries using explosives:
Aged from 22 to 55, the militants are said to comprise students, odd-job workers, a young widow and business professionals.
An officer with the Counter Terrorism Division of Malaysian Special Branch said the arrests had heightened suspicion that the flight's disappearance may have been an act of terrorism.
No wreckage or dead passengers ever found
"The possibility that the plane was diverted by militants is still high on the list and international investigators have asked for a comprehensive report on this new terror group," the officer, who was not named by the paper, said.
As of early May, some two months have passed since the Beijing-bound jet with 239 passengers aboard disappeared without much more than a trace on March 8. At the time, a weeks-long international search operation was begun with ships and planes from several nations. They deployed over a wide swath of the Indian Ocean in areas where some experts believed the Boeing 777 may have gone down, using radar-and-satellite-generated directions of travel.
And though the plane is believed by many to have crashed in the ocean, there has been no wreckage recovered and no bodies found. In the weeks following the fruitless search, theories for the plane's possible disappearance have varied and include equipment failure, damage to the fuselage, a suicide mission and a terror attack involving the pilots.
As further reported by IBT:
The mystery of the vanished Malaysia Airlines flight took a new twist with the international team probing the incident, considering the possibility that the plane may have landed rather than ended up in the Indian Ocean.
A Russian newspaper had earlier claimed that flight MH370 was hijacked and landed in Afghanistan where passengers were being held hostage.
The theory has been attributed to an alleged source within the country's FSB secret service, according to newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.
In interviews with the suspected terrorists conducted thus far, some have reportedly admitted to planning "sustained terror campaigns" throughout Malaysia, the paper said. However, all have so far denied being involved in the disappearance of the airliner.
During the trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a British-born Muslim from Gloucester called Saajid Badat claimed he had been instructed to give a shoe bomb to the Malaysians.
"I gave one of my shoes to the Malaysians. I think it was to access the cockpit," he said.
More speculation ahead
Badat, who spoke via video link and is in hiding in the United Kingdom, told a U.S. federal district court in New York that the Malaysian plot was being masterminded by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the principal architect of 9/11.
Earlier, Malaysian investigators were examining the possibility that the plane's pilot, Zaharie Ahmed Shah, who had set up an elaborate flight simulator in his home, "deliberately" redirected his aircraft off its Beijing-bound course.
Reports following the plane's disappearance said Shah was a fanatical supporter of Anwar Ibrahim, head of the People's Justice Party, the opposition political party which has been the primary source of agitation of the United Malays National Organization, which has ruled the country for more than a half-century.
The latest reports of possible terrorist involvement in the flight's disappearance will further fuel speculation that the passengers may have been held captive by a terrorist organization, IBT reported.