US lawmakers rule out terrorism behind missing Malaysian jet

Written by PTI | Washington | Updated: Mar 31 2014, 13:15pm hrs
Malaysia AirlinesMalaysian plane that went missing with 239 people aboard. (Reuters)
Top US lawmakers familiar with the intelligence information today said that evidence garnered so far do not indicate terrorism as a possible cause behind the Malaysian plane that went missing with 239 people aboard.

"I have seen nothing yet that has come out of the investigation that would lead me to conclude that there was anything other than a normal flight, that something happened, something went wrong," Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, told the Fox news.

He was responding to a question about the investigation being done by the FBI into Flight MH370.

"They (FBI) are going to compare the forensics on the computer with a full background on not only just the pilots but every crew member and every passenger on that aircraft. It will take a tremendous amount of time to do that. So we're just going to have to be patient I think as this thing unfolds," Rogers said.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, also told the CNN that there is no indication of a terrorist attack so far.

"So far there's been none and that there's speculation, but there's nothing," she said, reiterating that those involved in the search operation need to carefully calculate a

reasonable area where the plane may be.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah along with his co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid have come under intense scrutiny after Malaysian authorities said Boeing 777's disappearance on March 8 was due to "deliberate" action by someone on the plane.

Rogers also said finding the debris of the aircraft that crashed into the Indian Ocean on March 8 would take some time.

"The weight of the impact and the heaviest part of that aircraft probably went down at least on some angle. So the debris field can move, and that's what so difficult I think and presents such a huge challenge," Rogers said.

"The probability is very, very high that that aircraft is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean somewhere, and it is going to take some time. (These) planes are big, but they're not big

in relation to the Indian Ocean.

"And so this becomes a mathematical and a little bit of luck equation for them as they're continuing their patterns for search," he said.

The search for plane entered the 22nd day today with 10 aircraft and eight ships tasked to scour the Indian Ocean, after early sightings in the new search zone drew a blank.

The Beijing-bound Malaysian jetliner carrying 239 people including five Indians had vanished after taking off.