Investigators focus on foul play behind missing plane: Sources

Investigators focus on foul play behind missing plane: Sources

KUALA LUMPUR - An investigation into the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner is focusing more on a suspicion the flight was deliberately diverted, as evidence suggests it was last headed out over the Andaman Islands, sources familiar with the Malaysian probe said.

In a far more detailed description of military radar plotting than has been publicly revealed, two sources told Reuters that an unidentified aircraft that investigators suspect was missing Flight MH370 appeared to be following a commonly used navigational route when it was last spotted early on Saturday, northwest of Malaysia.

That course - headed into the Andaman Sea and towards the Bay of Bengal - could only have been set deliberately, either by flying the Boeing 777-200ER jet manually or by programming the auto-pilot.

A third investigative source said inquiries were focusing more on the theory that someone who knew how to fly a plane deliberately diverted the flight, with 239 people on board, hundreds of miles off its course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. "What we can say is we are looking at sabotage, with hijack still on the cards," said the source, a senior Malaysian police official.

As one of the most baffling mysteries in the history of modern aviation remains unsolved after nearly a week, the latest radar evidence is consistent with the expansion of the search for the aircraft to the west of Malaysia, possibly as far as the Indian Ocean.

There has been no trace of the plane nor any sign of wreckage as the navies and military aircraft of more than a dozen countries scour the seas across Southeast Asia.

"It's my understanding that based on some new information that's not necessarily conclusive - but new information - an additional search area may be opened in the Indian Ocean," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters in Washington.

Carney did not specify the nature of the new information.

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