This post is a little low on fact and high on speculation.
Considering the deliberate nature of the actions, the sophistication involved and the success in keeping things quiet, it would be foolish to think that the hijackers did not have an end-game planned. And such an end-gane would not have been just diving into the sea or running out of fuel.
This is the map issued by the Malaysian authorities. The red lines are the two possible corridors where MH370 was detected by a satellite over the Indian Ocean. (I have emphasised the track and the text).
The Northern Track suggests the aircraft is on land somewhere from Northern Thailand into Tibetan China and all the way to Kyrgyzstan. The track from the Andaman Sea to join this corridor would go through Myanmar and just touch Bangladesh and a bit of India but seems to miss
Bhutan and Nepal. The Southern track goes southwards deep into the Southern Indian Ocean where there are only a few isolated islands.
The most likely location for MH370 according to some officials is on land somewhere near the Chinese/Kyrgyztan border. If it has landed then it has been there for over a week. By now it is surely well camouflaged and the passengers must be in some kind of camp.
But where was the Thai and Chinese (and Myanmar and Indian and Bangladeshi) military radar?
There are 239 lives at stake of course. But the nightmare scenario is if this incident is not yet over. If they are still alive and being held as potential hostages to be used again.
- With a hijacking virtually confirmed, the likelihood is high that China would have been/ will be the target.
- If China is the target then the focus is on the Uighurs.
- But Beijing city itself could not have been the target since the flight was already cleared for that flight path.
- Support for the Uighurs in their struggle against China is evident in many Islamic countries.
- This could have been an attack to follow up on the Kunming Railway Station attack – presumed to be by Uighurs.
- Thailand is not friendly to Uighurs seeking refuge and usually deports them back to China.
- The fake passports were lost in Thailand – whether or not the two Iranians using those fake passports were involved.
- The Uighurs have sympathisers in Malaysia.
- Malaysian police and Interpol are apparently combing through the personal backgrounds of passengers and crew on the missing Boeing 777-200, especially a 35-year-old passenger of Uighur descent.
- There were reports last week soon after the plane vanished that the Chinese were playing down warnings of a forthcoming attack that they had received.
- The aircraft flew for 7 hours after normal communication ceased. It has been tracked – sort of – for about 4 hours but where it went in the last 2 -3 hours is unknown.
- The intelligence and security communities are hoping it was lost at sea and has not landed safely somewhere.
China was quick to criticise Malaysia for slow responses and lack of information but the focus will now be on the Chinese and what they knew and what they know.
The nightmare scenario unfolds if the hijacked aircraft is not lost at sea but has been landed and can be used again. How would countries react if this aircraft suddenly appeared in their airspace? Would they have any option but to shoot it down? Even if it was carrying innocent hostages? And there are potentially 230+ hostages.