Missile downed Malaysia Airlines jet? Follows near miss by North Korean rocket last week


By Aaron Klein

TEL AVIV — Just eight days after a terrorist attack in the city of Kunming dubbed “China’s September 11th,” a Malaysia Airlines flight carrying mostly Chinese passengers disappeared over the South China Sea.

While the international probe is in its early stages and questions are being raised about the prospect of terrorism, investigators would be wise to thoroughly examine the possibility of a missile attack, however remote, in light of recent information about the global proliferation of projectiles capable of downing civilian airliners.

Further, China has issued a series of warnings about North Korean missiles, including one that crossed paths with a Chinese airliner carrying 220 people just last week.

On Friday, China complained to North Korea when one of its missiles came dangerously close to a civilian jet last Tuesday. The airplane had departed Tokyo’s Narita airport en route to the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang.

One day earlier, South Korea’s defense ministry released a statement saying the Chinese civilian plane had “passed as the ballistic missile (from North Korea) was in the course of descending.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters, “On this issue, we have already contacted the North Korean side to convey our deep concern.”

“If any country is to hold training or exercises, it should take measures in accordance with international practice to ensure the safety of civil [facilities] in relevant airspace and maritime space,” said Qin.

Qin said the jet was flying over international waters at an altitude of 10,000 meters, or 32,800 feet.

“The rocket could have hit the plane on its way down,” he said. “North Korea had not given any warning. It was an unexpected and immoral act that goes against international norms.”

One week earlier, North Korea reportedly test-fired two short range missiles into the sea.

The Malaysian Airlines flight reportedly lost contact with air traffic controllers some 2 hours after departing Kuala Lumpur, when the plane was about one third of the way into its trip.

Vietnamese searchers said they found possible aircraft debris, including part of a door, that could be from the missing flight. Those fragments were reportedly located about 65 miles south-southwest of Vietnam’s Tho Chu island. The distance from that area to North Korea is about 2,600 miles.

North Korean missile capabilities are said to include the Musadan missile, with a range of about 2,485 miles; the 4,000-mile range Taepodong-2; and a claimed long-range UNHA-3 missile. None of those missiles were reportedly tested in public.

In January, former CIA Director David Petraeus warned of a “nightmare” scenario in which the proliferation of missiles could provide terrorists the ability to shoot down passenger airplanes.

The largest terrorist looting of Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems, or MANPADS reportedly took place immediately after the U.S.-NATO military campaign that helped to end Moammar Gadhafi’s rule in Libya.

Gadhafi had hoarded Africa’s biggest known reserve of MANPADS, with his stock said to number between 15,000 and 20,000. Many of the missiles were stolen by militias fighting in Libya, including those backed by the U.S. during the anti-Gadhafi efforts.

Last week there were unverified claims some MANPADS went missing in Ukraine.

Last April, the United Nations released a report revealing that weapons from Libya to extremists were proliferating at an “alarming rate,” fueling conflicts in Mali, Syria, Gaza and elsewhere.

Most MANPADS are designed to down a low-flying aircraft.  Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, however, reportedly disappeared from radar while flying at cruising altitude in fine weather.

The details surrounding the fate of the China-bound flight could take months or even years to fully emerge. While it is too early to jump to conclusions and the possibilities will evolve along with the investigation, some reports about the flight are technically consistent with a potential mid-air explosion.

Reuters has exclusively quoted a senior source inside the probe saying they were narrowing the focus of the investigation to the possibility the aircraft disintegrated mid-flight.

Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told reporters the airline had no indication of any distress signal from the pilot, with CBS News reporting this suggested “that whatever happened to the plane occurred quickly and possibly catastrophically.

Other reports say radar tracking the flight indicated the pilot may have turned back from its path to Beijing before disappearing. It was unclear how quickly the airplane did an about face or why the pilot may have decided to reverse course.

Meanwhile, international intelligence agencies have joined the investigation amid news that two passengers boarded the jet using stolen passports, raising terrorism concerns. Interpol revealed more “suspect” passports are being investigated.

‘Nightmare’ threat targets passenger aircraft

At a conference in Tel Aviv in January, Petraeus warned of a “nightmare” scenario in which missile proliferation could provide terrorists the capability to shoot down a civilian airliner.

Petraeus was speaking at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies, a think-tank at Tel Aviv University.

He referred to a video posted on YouTube by the Sinai-based Ansar Jerusalem jihadist group, which claimed it had fired a surface-to-air missile at an Egyptian helicopter.

“I mean, shooting down a helicopter with an apparent shoulder-fired missile is a big deal,” Petraeus said.

“As you know, that was always our worst nightmare, that a civilian airliner would be shot down by one. Which is why we were so concerned when they moved around,” he said.

The MANPADS didn’t just move around. Thousands were looted when Gadhafi’s reserves were unprotected following the NATO campaign there in 2011.

At the time, CBS News reported the U.S. was unable to secure “thousands” of MANPADS.

CBS quoted a “well-placed source” divulging that hundreds of missiles were tracked going to the group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, the al-Qaida franchise based in Algeria that is now considered to be one of the gravest threats to the U.S.

With additional research by Joshua Klein.

  • Malika Mohamed Manaa

    Why dont you educate yourself before making such hypocritical accusations. I am an american muslim that backs my country and lost a dear nephew staff seargeant three times deployed to protect our country and gave his life for all of you and was proud that he has a muslim in his family. He understood very well the difference between muslims and terrorists and extremists. You are blaming a worldwide religion (not based in any one location) that maintain peace and pays the price of accusations and domestic terrorism and harassment from people like you that dont even know the facts all because 6% of the muslims support radicalism and extremist behavior causing the deaths to many innocent civilian INCLUDING muslims and including blowing up masjids that refuse to participate or tolerate such behavior.

    Im shocked to see comments as send missles to kill them all, small pox, nuclear bombs……then how different does that make you from a terrorist? Terrorism comes in many colors, races, nationalities, religions, political bases, and other hidden agendas not simply due to the islamic religion. Before islam it was christians that invaded cities, and catholic crusaders that forced aboriginal people around the world to embrace the religion or die and they are who enslaved millions of people from africa and many countries, or have you all so easily forgotten that? Are you saying that was not terrorism, hmm maybe you need to know th definition of terrorism so I will help you:

    Main Entry: ter·ror·ism Pronunciation: ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəmFunction: nounDate: 1795: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion— ter·ror·ist -ər-ist adjective or noun— ter·ror·is·tic ˌter-ər-ˈis-tikadjective

    The definition of terrorism is clear, therefore most governments and historical moments are terrorism. I understand the loss and anger as I too have experienced it but I am sorry it is simply unfair and extremely hypocritical to blame islam and muslims in this manner. Not to mention, the flight has been considered downed based on speculations amd theories, suspecting possibly south korea and yet here you are bashing islam and muslims with hate crime comments, do you call youselves peaceful? You have taken this post completely out of context and turned it in to a mass attack againts innocent people as well, how are you any better? Hypocritical bigots!

    For your simple minded education here is an artical on terrorism please read and educate yourselves and stop looking like fools!


    God bless all on flight 370, I pray answers are found and families are givem closure.

  • Terrance Walsh

    You people that call your selfs Americans!! You need to take your country back!!!

    Whats happening in the USA is Spreading to small country’s like mine, unlike the USA we don’t have the numbers to stop these sick NWO faggots…Come ONN AMERICAN’S,, When I was a child you guys were the worlds Hero”s We all felt safe Knowing that if any evil tried to take over the world You AMERICAN’s would save us…

    You have the numbers to stop these sick NWO Faggots, if you all bound together you take back your country and put a stop to all this.. PLEASE AMERICAN’S get your spirt back!!! you people are fighters, Remember who are Were you came from… Take your country BACK!!!!

  • Robert C


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  • Voanr

    Slight problem with this theory MANPADS are only a real threat to low-flying aircraft like one that is coming in for a landing, and below 15,000 ft. What we know with the Malaysian airliner is A: the aircraft was at altitude, B: The aircraft was well outside of radar range when it was shot down, and C: it was in international waters at the time of the incident thus how the hell did a short range manpad shoot it down?

  • darknesz lover

    im the muslim here pls dont blame my religion about this all,islam teach us to be kind and good person to all creature,not all the muslim people bad as you though..pls dude pls..

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  • William Roberts

    Maybe malaysian military shot down the aircraft. they realised relative late that two passengers had fake passports while the aircraft was on air. after the aircraft did a sudden turn, so they scared of a terrorist attack in their twin towers and shot it down. plane and simple. now they try to hide everything