Malaysia widens search for missing jetliner

Malaysian authorities on Sunday said 25 countries are now involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

“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.”

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The press conference came as a U.S. official told CNN that U.S. intelligence officials are leaning toward the theory that the jetliner’s pilots were responsible for the disappearance.

The unidentified official said no final conclusions have been drawn, the network reported.

Members of Congress who had been briefed by intelligence officials earlier this week said they were baffled by the disappearance.

Lawmakers said they sought out information from multiple federal agencies about the missing plane, but what they heard still left them stumped.

"Basically, we're back where we started," Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) told The Hill this week. "I'm not aware of any progress. I've been talking to people … for the last four or five days, but in many ways, we're back where we started."

On Saturday, Malaysia’s prime minister said the missing plane was deliberately diverted by someone onboard, adding that its communications systems were intentionally disabled.

Najib Razak said radar evidence shows that plan the plane was steered off course at some point during its flight and could have continued flying for seven more hours.

Flight 370 vanished more than one week ago on a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board, including three American citizens.