Pilots of missing Malaysian jet investigated for links to extremism

Published: March 17, 2014

Fariq Hamid, left, and Zaharie Shah. Twitter/Facebook/theepochtimes.com

DEAN NELSON
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

With Malaysian police searching the homes of flight MH370’s pilot and co-pilot, attention is growing on whether there was anything in the two men’s backgrounds that could explain the fate of the missing plane.

But while on the surface the pair appeared to be normal — and according to most — likable, police are scrutinizing the psychological background of both pilots, their family lives and their connections for any possible link to extremists or any motive for involvement in the flight’s disappearance.

When Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed that Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 had been seized mid-air and rerouted from its path to the Indian Ocean, the finger of suspicion pointed straight at its passengers and crew.

Whoever had taken the fate of the 239 people on board in their hands had a sophisticated knowledge of aircraft systems — they had disabled the radar and communications, and switched off its transponder, which signals its position to satellites. And in all probability no one on board had as much expertise as the pilot, Captain Zaharie Shah.

Now, according to the prime minister, he is one of the 239 passengers and crew who are being profiled by intelligence agencies to identify one of the most baffling plane seizures in aviation history.

“The two pilots are of particular focus in the investigation because they were in control of the aircraft and had the most detailed knowledge to do what was done to the communications equipment,” said one Western source.

The suspicion of Captain Shah, a 53-year-old grandfather and father of three grown up children, was bolstered in profiles of him that highlighted his obsessive passion for aircraft — he even had his own airline flight simulator at home and flew model remote controlled planes as a hobby.

His co-pilot, 27-year-old bachelor Fariq Abdul Hamid was portrayed as a playboy who entertained female passengers in his cockpit, where they flirted and smoked cigarettes.

According to their devoted and distraught friends and families they cut extremely unlikely terrorist figures — if they had in fact pulled their Boeing 777 airliner off its course, they would have done it on the basis of extraordinary covers.

Captain Shah is a mild-mannered social and political activist who raises money for the poor and loves his job so much that he badgers friends into using his flight simulator to share his pleasure.

His friend Stephen Chong, a fellow supporter of the Malaysian People’s Justice Party opposition group, said they had met as “social activists”, raising money for the underprivileged by organizing fundraising cycle rides. “During the election he was flying most of the time but whenever he was home, he would help out with environmental events,” he said.

He has his own Do-It-Yourself video channel on YouTube where he tutors the impractical on how to repair their air-conditioners, create ice machines, and make other gadgets more energy-efficient. He was also a proud cook, posting pictures of himself at the stove and of his dishes, and taking home-cooked food to community events. “But his passion was for flying. He build his own flight simulator to share the joy of flying with friends. He used to say it was more difficult than flying a real plane,” he said.


Pages: 1 2

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Violent Vancouver muggings

Violent street mugging in Burnaby brings light sentences to two of the perpetrators

A third suspect who has never been arrested held knife to victim’s throat KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A man convicted in a violent street mugging…
Continue Reading »

security-CBSA-Transit Police-death

Migrant group asks Transit Police not to share info with CBSA

THE CANADIAN PRESS A B.C. group is calling on Transit police to stop sharing all information about migrants with the Canada Border Services Agency. Transit…
Continue Reading »

TK

IHIT takes case after body found in SUV in Surrey City Centre area

VANCOUVER DESI The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is at the scene where a deceased male was discovered in Surrey’s City Centre area Friday morning….
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Canadian gets seven years in Nepal jail for child molestation: report

THE CANADIAN PRESS A media report says a Canadian man has been sentenced to seven years in jail in Nepal for molesting a nine-year-old boy…
Continue Reading »

Canadian universities attracting kids, especially girls, to sciences

@ By Liam Casey THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Groups of students huddle around desks at a university campus as the instructor gives out a…
Continue Reading »

Canadian universities attracting kids, especially girls, to sciences

@ By Liam Casey THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Groups of students huddle around desks at a university campus as the instructor gives out a…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Hands Against Racism

Hands Against Racism: Send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

triplets

U.S. mom with 2 kids celebrates one-month birthdays of rare identical triplet boys (with photos)

COREY WILLIAMS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – A suburban Detroit couple who have two older children are adjusting to life after becoming…
Continue Reading »

File photo: An Indian Muslim bride, her hands decorated with henna, attends a mass wedding organized by a social service organization in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

Groom dumped by bride-to-be for a wedding guest accuses her of drugging him before ceremony

VANCOUVER DESI A 25-year-old Indian groom who was dumped by his bride-to-be for a wedding guest after he suffered an alleged seizure has accused his…
Continue Reading »

bikram

Vancouver woman sues hot yoga guru Bikram Choudhury for sexual assault

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver woman is claiming the leader of one of B.C.’s largest yoga chains repeatedly sexually assaulted and coerced her over…
Continue Reading »

murder plot-Pakistan-love triangle

U.S. man convicted of setting up fatal shooting of Pakistani wife while walking with young son

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A man was convicted Thursday of setting up the fatal shooting of his Pakistan-born wife while the couple was…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Katrina Kaif -bikini blouse

Gallery: Bollywood babes pair hot bikini blouses with sarees

VANCOUVER DESI When it comes to sinful fashion mingled with grace, elegance and beauty, no one can beat Bollywood actresses and their style sense. Check…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood film review

Dum Laga Ke Haisha: So real and heart-warming, it smells like life

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Film: “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”; Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pedneker; Written and Directed by Sharat Katariya; Rating: ****(4 stars) It’s very…
Continue Reading »

Katti Batti

Bollywood actors Kangana Ranaut and Imran Khan are having fun on the sets of Katti Batti

IANS Mumbai – Actor Imran Khan is having a “positive experience” filming “Katti Batti”, thanks to his “wonderful co-star” Kangana Ranaut and “great director” Nikhil…
Continue Reading »