Was missing flight victim of terror attack?

Suspicion growing over four mystery passengers

LAST UPDATED AT 08:10 ON Sun 9 Mar 2014

Was the missing Malaysia Airlines flight the victim of a terror attack? That is the question being considered by officials as they investigate the identities of four mystery passengers on flight MH370.

A source in Beijing has told the Sunday Times that suspicions of a terrorist attack are growing among Chinese government and police officials.

It emerged yesterday that two people boarded the flight using European passports that had been stolen in Thailand. Officials are examining CCTV footage of passengers boarding the plane amid fears that terrorists could have used fake passports to enter the craft.

Malaysian authorities are liasing with the FBI over four suspect passengers, who all bought their flight tickets through China Southern Airlines, according to a security official.

Last week in China, 33 people were killed and 143 injured in a terrorist attack in the south-western city of Kunming. The attack was blamed on pro-separatist ethnic Uigurs, who come from the mainly Muslim areas of the Xinjiang region that borders Pakistan and Afghanistan.  

Colonel Richard Kemp, a former head of counter-terrorism for the Joint Intelligence Committee and chairman of Cobra, says that incident could be connected to the missing airliner. "The possibility of this being a terror attack has to be seriously considered," he says.

However, the Independent On Sunday points out possible similarities between this incident and the fate suffered by an Air France Airbus flight in 2009, which suffered a high-altitude stall after the flight crew reacted incorrectly to a loss of air-speed indication.

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