WASHINGTON , March 9 : The FBI is deploying agents and technical experts to assist in investigating the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jet, based on the American citizenship of three of the passengers aboard the lost flight, a top federal law enforcement official in Washington said Saturday.
Los Angeles Times reported ,he said that a fourth passenger, whom he described as an infant flying with the three Americans, also may be a U.S citizen.
“This gives us entree” to the case, the official said, speaking confidentially because the FBI investigation is just beginning. “But so far what happened is a mystery.”
U.S. officials said they are looking at whether this could be terrorism, as they would with any plane crash until proved otherwise. Though two passengers apparently used stolen passports, “there is no indication this is a terrorist attack; stolen passports are certainly not indicative of a terrorist attack,” a senior counter terrorism official said.
The official said there was “no evidence” of terrorism thus far. Law enforcement officials were not authorized to speak publicly.
The federal law enforcement official said FBI personnel will assist in reviewing video of the airport in Kuala Lumpur for images of passengers at the ticket counter, the security sections and the boarding area.
He said images they find can be used with the bureau’s vast counter-terrorism technology to look for matches with known members of Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations.
But he emphsized that no known terrorist link has surfaced, and no organization has claimed responsibility for downing the plane, which was en route to Beijing with 239 people aboard when it disappeared from air traffic control monitoring.
Vietnamese military aircraft participating in a search-and-rescue operation for the plane spotted two oil slicks off the coast of southern Vietnam that were consistent with a plane crash, the Associated Press reported, but there has been no verification that they were associated with the missing jet.