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Officials not ruling out terrorism as cause of missing Malaysia Airlines’ plane

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Officials in Malaysia looking into the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines’ jet that vanished over the South China Sea in the predawn hours of March 8, are not ruling out terrorist activities as a cause for the missing plane and its passengers.

Two individuals listed as passengers on the airplane’s manifest were in fact not on board for the flight. Additionally, both of those individuals have been heard from, and say that their passports were stolen over a year ago in the same part of the world, according to NBC News .

Both passports were stolen in Thailand, one from an Italian citizen and one from an Australian citizen.

Officials in the U.S. are checking into the passenger manifests and are aware of the new revelations regarding the stolen passports.

No government officials are claiming a direct link with terrorists and the plane’s disappearance.

Authorities were quick to point out that certain other illegal activities, like drug-smuggling, could account for stolen passports being used on an airline flight.

Search and rescue efforts for the missing Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers are currently underway.

At the time of its disappearance, the aircraft was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Malaysia Airlines posted to their Facebook page that they lost contact with flight MH370 at 2:40 a.m. on March 8.

Flight MH370, operated on the B777-200 aircraft, departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am on 8 March 2014. MH370 was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day. The flight was carrying a total number of 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members.

Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft.

The airline will provide regular updates on the situation. Meanwhile, the public may contact +603 7884 1234 for further info.

Earlier today, military officials from Vietnam involved in the search and rescue effort spotted two oil slicks in the waters off southern Vietnam.

The government said the slicks were each six miles to nine miles long and were consistent with the type that would be left by fuel from a crashed jetliner.

For more on the missing Malaysian airliner, see the video accompanying this article.

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