By Kyle Balluck - 03/16/14 10:23 AM EDT
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) on Sunday said he would not rule out terrorism in the case of a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, adding that investigators should have focused on the cabin crew “from the start.”
The former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, however, said on ABC’s “This Week” that there has been no connection to terrorism or terrorist chatter since the flight disappeared more than one week ago.
The New York Republican said FBI officials were frustrated because the agency was not asked to join the investigation when the jet initially disappeared, adding that he hopes there is more involvement from Federal Aviation Authority and National Transportation Safety Board investigators.
“My understanding is Malaysia is not really cooperating at all,” he said.
King said the pilot and the co-pilot “should have been the focus from the start.”
King’s remarks echoed those of the current House Homeland Security chairman, who also said on Sunday that terrorism could not be ruled out.
"This was an intentional, deliberate act that unfortunately probably killed 239 people," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on "Fox News Sunday." "We don’t have any evidence this was terrorist-related, although you can’t rule that out."
Malaysian authorities on Sunday said the search for the missing jetliner now involves 25 countries.
“The search area has been significantly expanded and the nature of the search has changed,” Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at a press conference, according to Bloomberg. “From focusing mainly on shallow seas, we are now looking at large tracts of land, crossing 11 countries, as well as deep, remote oceans.”