Man With Stolen Passport on Malaysia Jet Had No Terror Links
Malaysian police say one of the two passengers who used stolen passports to board a missing passenger jet does not appear to have links to terrorism.
National Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar said Tuesday the 19-year-old Iranian national was likely trying to migrate to Germany, where his mother was waiting.
The other man's identity is still under investigation. But the development appears to reduce the likelihood they were involved in a terror plot, as some had suggested.
There has been no trace of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 since it disappeared from radar without any distress calls Saturday, about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur.
The search for a missing jetliner expanded Tuesday, as relatives of the 239 people on board prepared to deal with expected bad news.
Dozens of ships and planes involved in the search have failed to turn up any leads, following earlier reports that possible debris or spilled oil was located.
The search has expanded well beyond the plane's scheduled flight path. It now spans a radius of 185 kilometers from where the jet disappeared, including areas on land.
Malaysian officials have been exploring a wide range of scenarios that may have brought down the Beijing-bound jet, including an explosion, hijackers, pilot error or mechanical failure.
France: Russia Sanctions over Ukraine Could Come This Week
Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych blamed his opponents Tuesday for Crimea's moves to break away from Ukraine and said he remains the country's president and commander-in-chief.
Mr. Yanukovych spoke from Rostov-on-Don, Russia in his second public appearance since he fled Kyiv last month following months of anti-government protests.
Denouncing Ukraine's interim authorities as "extremists," the ousted leader called the new government's planned May 25 elections "illegitimate" and "illegal."
He also had strong words for the United States and its offer of $1 billion in loan guarantees to the interim government, saying the U.S. government does not have the right to "give money to bandits."
Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio Tuesday the West could impose sanctions against Russia as early as this week if Moscow does not respond positively to proposals to calm the crisis in Crimea.
Russia and the West are locked in a tense standoff over pro-Russian forces' seizure of the Ukrainian peninsula. The crisis in Crimea began late last month after Mr. Yanukovych's ouster.