WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Sunday that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was "not an accident," but he stopped short of suggesting terrorism was involved.
"One thing we know: This was not an accident. It was an intentional, deliberate act to bring down this airplane," Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said on "Fox News Sunday." "We don’t have any evidence this was terrorist-related, although you can’t rule that out at this point in time."
The investigation has turned to the passengers and crew of the plane that went missing from radar more than a week ago after departing Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, en route to Beijing, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board.
McCaul said that "all the evidence ... is pointing toward the cockpit, toward the pilot and the co-pilot."
Malaysian authorities have indicated that someone aboard the plane disabled one of its communications systems, called the Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS, about 27 minutes after takeoff and turned off the transponder, which links the plane to ground radar systems, about 14 minutes later.
Another top Republican, Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, said on "Face the Nation" that investigators are creating a "big matrix, from the plausible to the probable," with a "thorough investigation of everyone on the plane."
Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, warned, though, that such work will take an "intense amount of time" and may lead to "the biggest dead-end yet."
"The most probable circumstance is, that in fact it is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean," he said.
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