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China finds no terror link to its nationals on jet

PHILIPPINES-MALAYSIA-CHINA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Checks into the background of all the Chinese nationals on board the missing Malaysian jetliner have uncovered no links to terrorism, the Chinese ambassador in Kuala Lumpur said Tuesday.

The remarks will dampen speculation that Uighur Muslim separatists in far western Xinjiang province might have been involved with the disappearance of the Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers and crew early on March 8.

The plane was carrying 154 Chinese passengers, when Malaysian officials say someone on board deliberately diverted it from its route to Beijing less than one hour into the flight. A massive search operation in the Indian Ocean and beyond has yet to find any trace of the plane.

Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang said background checks on Chinese nationals didn't uncover any evidence suggesting they were involved in hijacking or an act of terrorism against the plane, according to the state Xinhua News Agency.

Uighur groups have been involved in attacks inside China, and some have a presence in the Afghan-Pakistan border area, where al-Qaida and other transnational jihadi groups are based.

Malaysian police are investigating the pilots and ground engineers of the plane, and have asked intelligence agencies from countries with passengers on board to carry out background checks on those passengers.

Malaysian authorities say that someone on board the flight switched off two vital pieces of communication equipment, allowing the plane to fly almost undetected. Satellite data shows it might have ended up somewhere in a giant arc stretching from Central Asia to the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.

Huang also that authorities in China had begun searching for the plane on its territory.

Malaysian police say they are investigating the possibility of hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or anyone else on board, but have yet to give any update on what they have uncovered.

Malaysian military radar spotted the plane in the northern reaches of the Strait of Malacca at 2:14 a.m. on March 8, just over 1 ½ hours after it took off from Kuala Lumpur. That is the plane's last known confirmed position. A signal to a satellite from the plane at 8:11 a.m. suggests that, by then, it was somewhere in a broad arc spanning from Kazakhstan to the Indian Ocean west of Australia.

Investigators are scouring over what little data they have to try and determine who was in control of the plane when it stopped communicating. They have indicated that whoever was in control must have had aviation experience and knowledge of commercial flight paths.

On Monday, Malaysian Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said an initial investigation indicated that the last words ground controllers heard from the plane - "All right, good night" - were spoken by the co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid.

On Sunday, the defense minister Hishammuddin Hussein said this were spoken before the jetliner's data communications systems - the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System - had been switched off, suggesting the voice from the cockpit was knowingly deceiving ground controllers.

But Ahmad made a potentially significant change to that timeline.

Speaking alongside Hishammuddin, he said that while the final data transmission from ACARS, which gives plane performance and maintenance information, came before the co-pilot's words, it was still unclear at what point the system was switched off.

The search for the plane is one of the largest in aviation history, and now involves 26 countries.

It was initially focused on seas on either side of Peninsular Malaysia, in the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca. It has since expanded to include the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal and 11 countries to the northwest which the plane in theory could have crossed, including China and India.

But had the plane gone northwest to Central Asia, it would have crossed over countries with busy airspace. Some experts believe it more likely would have gone south, although Malaysian authorities are not ruling out the northern corridor and are eager for radar data that might confirm or rule out that.

U.S., Australian and Indonesian planes and ships are searching waters to the south of Indonesia's Sumatra Island all the way down to the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, the world's third-deepest and one of the most remote stretches of water.

The area being covered by the Australians is massive - 600,000 square kilometers (232,000 square miles) - and will take weeks to search thoroughly, said John Young, manager of Australian Maritime Safety Authority's emergency response division.

"This search will be difficult. The sheer size of the search area poses a huge challenge," Young said. "A needle in a haystack remains a good analogy."

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
Braun Cattle March 18 2014 at 11:26 AM

To the loved ones of the missing plane, twenty plus countries are trying to find your loved ones. Everyone , who are belieivers are praying for their safe return. Fox news reported that many family members are not eating, and are demanding that more needs to be done, to find their loved ones. If this report is true, understand that your loved ones would want you to eat, not cause yourself to get weak. If you are fasting in hope that God will intervene , and the plane will be found, I can understand that. Many people are praying for your loved ones safe return. Our hearts go out to all of you. May God give you the peace you are seeking.

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barryaclarke Braun Cattle March 19 2014 at 12:27 AM

Hmmm, is China one of the twenty plus countries looking for their passengers with their navy?......

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SAM March 18 2014 at 10:38 AM

If terrorists really did take this plane they're not nessarily going to admit it. Do you think that if it landed in Pakistan they would tell the US? They hid Bin Laden for years so, why not a plane? Can you imagine the carnage some group could cause if they wait for the perfect moment, load that plane with bombs and hit a city or facility? They could hit a US military base in Afganistan and inflict numerous causalities. Can't happen? They hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and would have hit the White House if it weren't for the brave passangers on Flight 73. There is no way America and other countries should let their guard down while this plane is missing.

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paulaflyhigh SAM March 18 2014 at 3:03 PM

You are absolutely right! I just pray our Military is the strongest that it's ever been.

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Carolyn paulaflyhigh March 18 2014 at 4:52 PM

Our military is not the strongest it has ever been and ther are plans to cut it down to pre WW II size.

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Walt paulaflyhigh March 18 2014 at 5:25 PM

PRAY TO WHO FOR WHAT, THE PLANE, IF IT WERE ANY SPRITUAL REALITY, IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN TAKEN, SO THAT'S OUT. OUR MILITARY SPENDS 13 TIMES MORE THAN ALL OTHER MILITARY'S COMBINED, WE NEED INTELLEGENCE MORE THAN BOMBS AND WEAPONS, WHAT IS SO HARD TO SEE ABOUT THAT.

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lwilson145 March 18 2014 at 8:08 AM

Did the plane ever take-off?

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nuttberry lwilson145 March 18 2014 at 10:22 AM

Malaysian Air traffic control had it on radar for just over an hour, military radar pick up that it had changed directions and then 'pinged' a tower after it had changed course and satellite picked up outgoing feed for several hours of flying. If you read the articles you would know all this.

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paulaflyhigh nuttberry March 18 2014 at 2:50 PM

Thanks for giving me the smile of the day! (Your last sentence) Just maybe the person hasn't had time to watch their pc or had time to watch the news. But, I guess someone did look right at the plane and the plane's id # and know this was the particular flight!!!!!!!! Feel so sorry for those left and sure hope they find out SOMETHING!! AND, before long!!

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plansmaker March 18 2014 at 11:22 AM

This missing Jetliner looks more and more like terrorist hijacking.
All Malaysian Airline and all airlines of South Asia can do is to tighten its passenger and employee security to prevent future hijacking.
This is a huge tragedy in terms of lives loss and victims families. Lets hope lessons has been learned here, no nation is safe from terrorism.

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Walt March 18 2014 at 5:26 PM

YOU BETTER DO YOUR HOMEWORK WE SPEND 12 TIMES MORE THAN ALL OTHER COUNTRIES COMBINED, WHILE WE ARE RANKED 23 IN MATH AND SCIENCE, DU, AT WHAT POINT DO WE SPEND MORE MONEY WITH DEFENCE CONTRACTORS. IN FACT IF YOU DID YOUR HOMEWORKL YOU WOULD KNOW THIS.....

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kiteserfer March 18 2014 at 11:04 AM

The plane is intact along with all of its occupants. It has been hijacked but not from beings of this world. They or their progeny will be returned but we don't know when. The whole plane in its entirety was taken and all electronic systems disabled including everyones cell phone.

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