After several days of speculation about the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Malaysian investigators announced earlier yesterday that they believe the plane was hijacked. This conclusion was reiterated by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak later in the day at a press conference.
In a new development, the pilot of the flight reportedly made contact with air traffic control officials after the plane's data system was disabled. Here's what else is happening in the case of MH370:
- There are now 25 countries actively involved in the search for MH370, up from 14 countries just yesterday. Everyone from the flight staff to the passengers and ground crew are being investigated.
- Police are also looking specifically at pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, whose home and flight simulator were inspected yesterday. Conjecture is swirling about Shah's political leanings. He is said to be a "'fanatical' supporter of the country's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim" who was jailed just before the jet took off.
- India is reportedly suspending its search for the plane to conserve resources.
For more in-depth coverage, see yesterday's live blog below:
5:57 p.m.: Not everyone is taking the Malaysian prime minister as his word. One senior American official pushed back against the hijacking theory. Or at least pushed back against the certainty of it.
“It doesn’t mean anything; all it is is a theory. Find the plane, find the black boxes and then we can figure out what happened. It has to be based on something, and until they have something more to go on it’s all just theories.”
Meanwhile, new theories are picking up steam.