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March 11th, 2014
07:22 PM ET

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Passport Mystery Solved

Authorities have identified the two passengers who used stolen passports to travel on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Both are Iranian men. Neither is believed to have any terror link, easing initial fears that foul play could be behind the plane's disappearance.

Earlier in the day, Malaysian officials identified the first passenger as 19-year-old Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, who they believe was trying to emigrate to Germany.

But why were stolen passports used on the missing airliner? And how deep is the airport security flaw it exposes?

Earlier, I talked to Phil Robertson, Deputy Director Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. He contextualizes why Mehrdad would use a stolen passport to reach Germany.

Robertson says that after the Green Revolution in Iran, “There were many Iranians who fled to Malaysia. Malaysia is a country where you can get visa-free entry for many Middle East passports. And so a significant number of asylum seekers from Iran did end up in Malaysia."

As for what the incident says about airport security and screening in Malaysia, Robertson says, "It's very interesting. I was a bit surprised to see people with stolen passports elude security at the Malaysia airport. That's one of the more effective and efficient airports in Southeast Asia."

Click on to hear more from Robertson including his thoughts on whether the two men were part of a human smuggling operation, and the thriving trade for stolen passports in Southeast Asia.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Doug Ruhen

    CNN is reporting sensational speculations about what MAY or MAY NOT have caused the MH370 disappearance. Why not setnd a helicopter to tpick up the rigger who spotted what appeared to be a plane on fire crashing to the sea 50kms from his rig. A copy of his email to MH authorities reporting his position and his estimate of the crash position (not far from the Chinese satellite fix of wreckage (ently recivingcur?) and the time of his sighting which closely corresponds with the time of the last message received from MH 370. An interview would be of huge interest and less speculative that what viewers are currently getting. His email is posted on the web.

    March 13, 2014 at 12:33 am | Reply
  2. tammy

    My question is... everyone is saying their families cell phones would ring. With the technology America has, why couldnt the fbi or somone hack the codinates of the cell phones when they last had signal? Or go back to sattelite images of the planes last coordinates for sure and watch to see what happens or where it goes?

    March 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  3. rrr wwww

    I think a Government like China or Iran, North Korea, or a group like Al Queda, with Governmental cooperation might be involved, it was diverted to a secret base, the Pilot and many of the passengers might have also been planted and involved in the takeover, or a Cyanide could have been used to kill the passengers, but the overall plot might b a nuclear cruise missile to fly into Israel, or the USA, What it they disguise that plane as a different plane to fly it into Washington, false data, false pings, allowing it to be legal over the USA or Israel, then to detonate it as a Nuclear bomb to take out Washington, lets say several months from now, in July or August. The Pilot might be involved, he had a flight simulator in his house, to practice flight without guidance, he could have used a small hand held navigation to guide the plane to an island or Government that would like to see Israel or The USA destroyed.

    March 14, 2014 at 12:55 am | Reply
  4. Johnson Mulupy

    How misteriously did that aircraft vanish??Were there any men on the ground scanning the flight????I hope one day it'll be traced.

    March 25, 2014 at 10:38 am | Reply
  5. John K

    Is it possible that mh370 is submerged but not on the bottom? Could it be moving with currents and has moved from where the pings were detected?

    April 27, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Reply

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