Late last week, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disintegrated 30,000 feet over the South China Sea.
And as I’m writing, officials are in full denial mode: “There’s no evidence of terrorism.” Yet this denial is strikingly similar to the statements issued after the Benghazi attacks, the terrorist shooting at Fort Hood, and other suspicious and deadly events during Obama’s tenure.
Officials say they aren’t considering terrorism because there’s a “lack of significant chatter.”
But that’s a short-sighted conclusion for a number of reasons.
Consider this possibility: Maybe the Edward Snowden leaks showed terrorist organizations exactly how they could evade NSA monitoring.
Or, consider this even scarier alternative: Flight 370 was shot down by a terrorist missile. It’s not as outlandish as it seems. On Sunday, Aaron Klein, a reporter working out of Jerusalem for the website WND.com, published an eye-opening report detailing the threat of missiles to civilian airliners. Klein wrote of the Obama administration’s failure to control these controversial Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems, or MANPADS.
Klein recalled a speech given by former CIA Director David Petraeus, who warned of a “nightmare” scenario in which a missile – acquired by terrorists – is used to shoot down an airliner full of tourists or business travelers.
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.”
Sadly, Klein says that the threat of attacks on civilian airliners is growing: “The largest terrorist looting of MANPADS took place immediately after the U.S.-NATO military campaign that helped to end Muammar Gadhafi’s rule in Libya. Gadhafi had hoarded Africa’s largest-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. in their anti-Gadhafi efforts.”
The Obama administration has largely covered up this threat to civilian airplanes, as an inept attempt to recover the Gadhafi weapons has been a failure.
Some Undeniable Similarities
Here’s another reason terrorism should be considered in this case: the similarities to previous airborne terrorism attacks.
Officials may not have found debris from Flight 370; but unfortunately, that’s not too surprising. When a bomb was detonated on board an Air India Boeing 747 in 1985, the plane was at its cruising altitude of about 30,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Both the plane and the evidence of the attack were largely disintegrated in the air, and a total of 329 people were killed.
Another similar attack was the bomb explosion on Pan-Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988. That Pan-Am flight was also largely disintegrated.
On top of that, police are trying to identify four passengers traveling on Flight 370 using suspect passports. Interpol has alleged at least two of the passengers used passports listed in its database of stolen travel documents. Questions about why the passenger manifest wasn’t checked more thoroughly are already being asked.
Ultimately, our hearts go out to the families of the 227 passengers and the dozen crew members on board Flight 370. In the days and weeks ahead, the world will have more questions. Let’s hope that the Obama team will be honest with the public and not attempt to hide the facts as they have in the past.
This commentary originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Photo credit: rich_french77Amber (Creative Commons)