Malaysia Flight 370: What has happened, and can it be prevented from happening again?

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On that Malaysian airlines flight 370 that is still missing, several people have been asking me why anyone would target it.  But after looking at the 227 passenger nationalities, a few trends stand out.  First, the passengers were of 14 different nationalities – citizens from:-

China – 152 plus 1 infant
Malaysia – 38
Indonesia – 12
Australia – 7
France – 3
United States of America – 3 pax plus 1 infant
New Zealand – 2
Ukraine – 2
Canada – 2
Russia – 1
*Italy – 1
Taiwan – 1
Netherlands – 1
*Austria – 1

The two passengers who we currently know were traveling with stolen passports was a man (possibly Asian) posing as a man from Italy, and someone posing as a person from Austria.  They don’t know yet if the other passengers being investigated were using stolen passports or not, and they don’t know for sure if the people traveling with stolen passports were trying to just immigrate illegally, or if terrorism was in fact involved.  But they know the plane “disappeared” at 35,000 feet, but that it might have been starting to turn back towards Malaysia when it vanished. 

Also, 23 people on board may have been Caucasian, which would have made it easier to blend in, if you had stolen passports from Austria and Italy (and were light skinned too).  Also, if they were pale-skinned foreigners, they would be potentially less likely to be scrutinized through security quite as severely in a country like Malaysia – foreigners are not typically viewed as a security threat in SE Asia, drug-smugglers perhaps, terrorists no.  If terrorism was involved, the target appears to be Chinese nationals, but with 23 “Westerners” on board, this plane was likely a high value target for any terrorist organization. 

Could be Al Qaeda, could be Chinese separatists, or it could have been a faulty repair on the wing-tip by Boeing, but if the latter, you would think they would have been able to get a distress-call out.  I guess it is even still possible that the plane has been hijacked, and landed somewhere still yet unknown.  However, to pull that one off, I would assume the plane would somehow have to go “stealth” to fall-off military and civilian radar. 

Everything is currently leading to the conclusion that some type of cataclysmic explosion occurred at 35,000 feet, and if that is the case, then there won’t necessarily be a lot of plane pieces to find. 

My heart goes out to all the families of those affected by this global travesty.  I hope they get to the bottom of this terrible, terrible catastrophe, and that no further lives are lost in similar incidents in the future.  If Malaysian airlines would have simply cross-referenced everyone’s passport with INTERPOL records on file, perhaps this travesty could have been avoided.  However, for a corporation, time is money, and if you can’t check customers in fast enough, you can’t keep your schedules, and you end-up with dissatisfied international travelers who can’t make their connecting flights.  Malaysian airlines has been trying to increase it’s market share of the lucrative tourist trade, and I’m sure many working for them felt they couldn’t afford to delay international flights without sufficient justification.  I guess now they have that justification, too bad so many may have had to die in order for Malaysian airlines to realize they may have a serious security problem in their Kuala Lumpur international terminal.       

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