Interpol and Malaysian officials are looking at a 35 year-old Uighur passenger on missing flight MH370. The suspect passenger had previously taken flight simulation training in 2006. The man has a PHD from a university in Britain and is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, at a Turkish university.
Ethnic Muslim Uighurs from western China have been responsible for several terror attacks in China. Earlier this month the Uighurs, who make up 45 percent of the population of Xinjiang, were blamed for a violent attack at a Chinese train station.
28 were killed in the attack. (Ibiza Online)
The Malay Mail Online reported:
Malaysian police and Interpol are combing through the personal backgrounds of passengers and crew of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, and have confirmed they are taking a close look at a 35-year-old passenger of Uighur descent.
Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Hadi Ho Abdullah confirmed this in a report in the Malay language daily Harian Metro today.
“We will conduct further investigations into this matter,” he said, without divulging further details.
It is understood that the police have also searched the family homes of crew members including the pilot and co-pilot of the flight, as terrorism and sabotage has not been ruled out as a reason behind the disappearance of the airliner.
An unnamed source had told the daily that Malaysian police and Interpol are focusing their attention on this man because of the skills he possessed.
“We are not saying that he is involved in terrorism, suspected of sabotaging or hijacking the plane, it’s just that more attention is on him because of his background and we feel that there are important elements that have to be looked at,” the source was quoted as saying.
The Uighurs are a Turkic ethnic group primarily living in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China.
More… There was also a 35 year-old Uighur artist on the plane.
KUHN: Jung says that when Chinese media first revealed the passenger list, one name was obscured from view: Memetjan Abdullah. He’s a 35-year-old Uyghur oil painter from Kashgar, a fabled oasis town on the old Silk Road. The Uyghurs are Turkic-speaking Muslim people who inhabit China’s far west Xinjiang region.
I spoke to the artist’s friend, Beijing-based Uyghur photographer and TV cameraman Kuerbanjiang Saimaiti(ph) .
KUERBANJIANG SAIMAITI: (Through translator) His paintings are all about his hometown: portraits, the old houses of Kashgar, women, children, old folks.
KUHN: He says his friend’s main interest in life is capturing the colors and the textures of his Central Asian homeland on canvas. His friend doesn’t drink or smoke. He’s a Communist Party member but, he adds, he hasn’t completely abandoned his Islamic faith. He says that Memetjan Abdullah was the only Uyghur chosen to join a group of two dozen Chinese painters traveling to Malaysia on an exchange program.
Chinese “netizens” think Muslim Uighur Separatists are behind the missing jet.