McCaul: Can't rule out terrorism in missing jet

The head of the House Homeland Security Committee said he could not rule out terrorism in the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on "Fox News Sunday" that the motives behind the jumbo jet's disappearance remain a mystery, but he is skeptical that the plane landed safely somewhere.

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"This was an intentional, deliberate act that unfortunately probably killed 239 people," he said. "We don’t have any evidence this was terrorist-related, although you can’t rule that out."

If the plane was deliberately diverted, as now believed, McCaul said there are two likely outcomes. Either the plane ran out of fuel and crashed somewhere in the ocean, or it was landed somewhere to be later used for some alternative purpose, “where it could be used later on as a cruise missile as the 9/11 hijackers did.”

“We don’t have all the information before us, but we have to look at all these possibilities,” he said.

On Saturday, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak said the disappearance of Flight MH370 on March 7 was not an accident but the result of deliberate action. Roughly two-thirds of the plane’s passengers were Chinese, and three American citizens were on board.

McCaul said the intent behind such an action remains a mystery, but the focus should be on the pilot and co-pilot of the plane.

“From all the information I’ve been briefed on … something was going on with the pilot. I think this all leads towards the cockpit,” he said.

On Saturday, Malaysian officials said the latest data received from the plane came seven hours after it first moved off its charted course. The data indicated the plane was either headed north toward the borders of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, or south toward Indonesia and Australia.

McCaul said he believed the plane likely went southward, as radar systems in locations to the north would have detected the plane if it traveled in that direction. 

“The intelligence community … believes it more likely went the southern route,” he said.

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