By Keith Laing - 03/19/14 02:09 PM EDT
The chairman of the House committee that oversees intelligence issues said this week that disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines' flight that has been missing for nearly two weeks was likely an "inside job."
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said during an appearance on Fox News's "Kelly File" show that pilot suicide or terrorism was likely the cause of the disappearance of Malaysia Air's Flight 370, which has been missing since March 7.
"Most people I spoke to in the airline industry, felt the plane odds are, again, not knowing what happened, but overwhelming odds would be that that had to be an inside job," King said. "Someone from the inside either, someone who took over the plane or the pilot and/or the co-pilot. All the other explanations were really too much off the playing field. So, I felt the suicide or its terrorist attack by someone, within the cockpit."
Initial search and rescue efforts were concerted on waters in the Gulf of Thailand, where the plane’s pilots last contacted air traffic controllers.
Officials later came to believe the plane continued flying for several hours with its radar equipment turned off, based on signals that were communicated via satellite by the jet’s engines. Over the weekend, Malaysian officials said the investigation of Flight 370's disappearance had moved to a "new phrase" that involved looking into the background of the crew members and passengers who were on board the plane.
The homes of the flight's pilot and co-pilot were searched.
King has criticized Malaysian officials for their handling of the missing plane's disappearance.
He said during the Fox interview that it took too long for investigators to consider the possibility that the plane was intentionally diverted.
"My conversations have been leaning toward, happening within the cockpit, either terrorism or suicide," King said.
King said it was "terrible" that it took Malaysian officials a week to look for clues in the backgrounds of the missing plane's pilots.
"They've not cooperated and, just the fact that they took seven days before they even began to look at the pilot and co-pilot is inexcusable," he said.
"Any time you have an incident like this, you have to assume whether it's true or not, the pilot and the co-pilot have to be looked at as possible suspects, and we begin an automatic and investigation, especially in a country like Malaysia, which has such a strong history of al Qaeda activity," King continued. "Not to say they're terrorists, but it's something you have to look into. The fact that they never brought FBI in, Interpol in, and Australian intelligence. All of these groups could have assisted in and going through the backgrounds of the pilot and the co-pilot."