The disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight last Friday appears to be the result of deliberate action. That's according to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, speaking to reporters earlier today. Najib stopped short of using the word "hijacking," but instead stated that "evidence is consistent with someone acting deliberately from inside the plane," CNN reported.
That statement follows days of speculation and troubling details about the flight's trajectory after it vanished from air controller screens shortly following take-off. An earlier report from The Wall Street Journal revealed that the flight's satellite communications system continued to send pings for around four hours after the loss of radar contact, raising the possibility that the plane had been intentionally ferried away to a distant location. Subsequent findings honed in on the plane's trajectory, suggesting that it was intentionally flown northwest towards the Indian Andaman Islands — and followed a course that would be well-known to someone with aviation training.
"Acting deliberately from inside the plane."
Now, according to Najib and other officials, a growing collection of information has shifted the investigation to focus on a scenario where the plane's disappearance was intentional. According to the Associated Press, it now appears that the plane's last known satellite ping came about seven and a half hours after takeoff, and that the craft deviated significantly from its original trajectory, turning back and crossing over peninsular Malaysia after its transponder was switched off. Sources familiar with the investigation now speculate that one or more individuals with flying experience took control of the aircraft, switching off communication devices and strategically re-routing the plane to avoid radar detection. It's still unclear, however, exactly where the plane was flown following that final point of contact.
Officials are now continuing their investigation with a renewed focus on the plane's passengers and crew — including a reported search of one pilot's home. They're also looking to additional radar and satellite data from several countries in the region where the plane may have been flown, in an effort to zero in on its trajectory and last known location. At the same time, they're also adamant that while evidence "is consistent" with deliberate action, investigators will consider "all major possibilities on what caused MH370 to deviate," Najib said. And a US official involved in the investigation told CNN that as they learn more about the flight, it becomes "more difficult to write off" the prospect of human intervention.