There is a “growing consensus” that missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was crashed as part of a suicide plot by either its pilot or co-pilot, says Rep. Peter King, who chairs the House Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee.
U.S. authorities are coming to believe that one or the other of the pilots “wanted to get as far away and land in the farthest and deepest part of the ocean,” the New York Republican told the New York Post.
The scheme, King said Sunday, could have been planned in the hopes that family members would be able to collect life insurance on the pilot or co-pilot, because if the plane isn’t found, “they can’t call it suicide.”
Malaysian police are denying reports that the family of the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, moved from their home just days before the flight took off. Two different photos of surfaced of him. One shows him wearing a shirt with the words “Democracy is Dead” printed on it, while the other shows him holding a cleaver and standing with a bowl of meat.
He is also being described as an “obsessive and fanatical” follower of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, whom authorities sentenced to five years in prison for homosexuality in the hours before Flight 370 departed.
The suicide plot scenario “makes the most sense,” King said Sunday. Authorities believe the plane headed south toward the Indian Ocean, one of the deepest in the world, after it went off course over the Gulf of Thailand.
“If there is any consensus now, it’s that it was a suicide by the pilot or co-pilot, and he wanted to go as far as he could into the Indian Ocean,” King said, expressing doubt that both pilots were involved in the plan.
“One or the other would have to kill or somehow silence the other,” King said.
According to Malaysian Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar, authorities are still investigating all possibilities, including hijacking or sabotage.
Last week, King told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV that the jet’s disappearance had the hallmarks of terrorism.
There’s “the fact that you have a two passengers flying on stolen passports, the fact that the plane just disappeared, that there was no communication whatsoever, the fact that Malaysia is known to be a hotbed of al-Qaida activity in the past.”
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By Sandy Fitzgerald