The curious case of MH370’s captain

KUALA LUMPUR: Captain Zaharie Ahmed Shah, the commander of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft that went missing with 239 people aboard, had shown striking behavioural changes hours before he flew the plane. Investigations by the TVTN revealed that Captain Zaharie, who normally wished the Nepali security guards posted outside his colony in Laman Seri with a Muslim style of salutation as if saying salaam, saluted the guards in a military style on the fateful night.

“There was a striking change in the way he had saluted us that night,” said one of the guards on condition of anonymity, adding, “it was very unlike him”. Another abnormal thing noticed that night was that Zaharie used his own BMW 5 series car to commute to the airport.

Normally he used to take the airline cab for going to the airport before international flights. The cab arrived at his colony gate almost 20 minutes after he had left for the airport.

Another interesting angle that night was that he was accompanied by his wife in his car around 9 pm. Interestingly, his wife did not return home that night. She only returned on Saturday morning, almost a week after the suspected hijack.

Her visit to the posh Laman Seri house with lush green surroundings was followed by her son. Zaharie’s son is settled abroad and came to the house at around 2 pm on Saturday. He was weeping at the gate when the security guards tried to verify his antecedents over telecom from the colony’s security guardroom.

Investigation Sources said he was accompanied by three teams of Malaysian intelligence officials, who went with him to the house to carry out searches. Malaysian intelligence agencies are trying to look into Zaharie and other crew members’ political and religious affiliations.

Some media reports had suggested that Zaharie had affiliation with the leader of Opposition Anwar Ibrahim. A day before the plane vanished, Ibrahim was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to five years in prison. Zaharie is said to have attended proceedings of the trial. However, Ibrahim’s party refuted the allegation, describing them as highly ridiculous.

They are also examining their hobbies and behavioural patterns to get clues for unravelling the mystery. 53- year- old Captain Zaharie came under scanner after some of the photos posted by him on Facebook showed him with a flight simulator in the background at his residence. The Malaysian Police is examining the simulator and it believes this is an unusual thing for a pilot, who is highly experienced with over 18,000 hours of flying time. He has been associated with Malaysia Airlines for more than 30 years.

Meanwhile, members of the Indian community on Sunday offered special prayers for the safety of the passengers of the missing MH370 at Laxmi Narayan temple in Kuala Lumpur. “ The prayers are not just for five Indians but all the passengers on board the aircraft,” said president of the temple Nirmal Kumar. Similarly, in Titiwangsa Gurdwara, special arda s was done by the granthi .

The world’s first cyber hijack?

A chilling theory suggests the missing Malaysian Airlines plane could have been hijacked using a mobile phone or USB stick. An anti-terror expert believes the speed, altitude and direction of the aircraft could have been changed, simply by sending radio signals from a small remote device.

A framework of ‘codes’ created by cyber terrorists would also be able to get into the plane’s in- flight entertainment system and override the security software.

It is also believed, once the systems have been successfully hacked, the plane could be landed by remote control.

The theory has emerged as the search for flight MH370 continues to grow, with 25 countries now involved in the rescue effort. Malaysian PM Najib Razak confirmed the plane’s disappearance was the result of a ‘ deliberate act’ and could have flown as far as Kazakstan. Daily Mail

Malaysia’s Premier Najib Razak spoke to PM Manmohan Singh seeking enhanced help from India.

India on Sunday suspended search operations saying they are waiting for Malaysia to formulate a strategy for further searches.

The theory that the plane could have been hijacked for a 9/11-type attack on India was debunked by the IAF on Sunday.