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

DEPORTED-PAKISTAN

Tearful farewell as woman who faces death for adultery charges in Pakistan deported from Saskatoon

EVAN RADFORD THE STARPHOENIX As Jamila Bibi embraced her ally and friend Sahana Yeasmin, she was whisked away at the Saskatoon airport by two Canadian…
Continue Reading »

Simian death-monkey god

Monkey gets Hindu cremation by Indian villagers to avoid misfortune

VANCOUVER DESI In a bizarre sequence of events, almost 200 youths shaved off their heads to ward off ‘ill omen’ brought on by the death…
Continue Reading »

desi gangster murder

Suspect in gangster Sandip Dhure shooting claims Charter rights violated when police seized firearms from apartments

KEITH FRASER, VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver man who was a suspect in a high-profile gang-related shooting, and his co-accused, are claiming their rights were violated…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Saskatoon woman, 65, deported to Pakistan after appeal to Federal Court rejected

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — A 65-year-old woman working as a cook in Saskatoon has been deported to her native Pakistan, where her lawyer says…
Continue Reading »

DEPORTED-PAKISTAN

Tearful farewell as woman who faces death for adultery charges in Pakistan deported from Saskatoon

EVAN RADFORD THE STARPHOENIX As Jamila Bibi embraced her ally and friend Sahana Yeasmin, she was whisked away at the Saskatoon airport by two Canadian…
Continue Reading »

desi gangster murder

Suspect in gangster Sandip Dhure shooting claims Charter rights violated when police seized firearms from apartments

KEITH FRASER, VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver man who was a suspect in a high-profile gang-related shooting, and his co-accused, are claiming their rights were violated…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Scroll Invitation

Wedding invitations – the Do’s

KIM TREHAN VANCOUVER DESI You are cordially invited…. We request the honor of your presence… Please join us… It is so difficult to decide on…
Continue Reading »

INDIA_ACID_ATTACKS_PHOTO_GALLERY_217739018

Acid-attacked teen, Laxmi, chosen to model for New Delhi’s India Runway Week

IANS New Delhi  – One of India’s young acid attack victims has been chosen to walk the runway at the third edition of India Runway…
Continue Reading »

CEN_MonkeyGod_01.jpg

ID card obtained in the name of India’s monkey god exposes corrupt system

CEN AGENCY An Indian computer programmer has managed to get an official identity card in the name of India’s monkey god after bribing corrupt officials….
Continue Reading »

girl child

Upset over having two daughters and no son, man bobbitises himself

IANS Patna – A man in Bihar has bobbitised himself, sniping off his penis with a sharp knife in a fit of rage after a…
Continue Reading »

heptathlete India

Indian athlete with six toes on each foot attempts to overcome deformity to medal at Asian Games

C. RAJSHEKHAR RAO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI – Merely wearing shoes is painful for Swapna Barman. She was born with six toes on each…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

hot photos desi actress bollywood sex

Deepika Padukone: I have breasts, you got a problem?

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has caused a social media storm over her ‘cleavage show’ story in a leading Indian news outlet. Padukone slammed…
Continue Reading »

Dr Cabbie

Canadian actor Vinay Virmani’s Dr. Cabbie continues his examination of South Asian immigrant experience

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI Toronto-born actor and writer Vinay Virmani is excited about his latest film, Dr. Cabbie, set to release in Canada on September…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actress

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty says ‘I am a big solitaire fan’

IANS New Delhi – Bollywood actress-producer and entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty says she can’t step out without a piece of jewellery or accessory, especially a solitaire….
Continue Reading »