US to Get Fingerprints of Malaysia Airline Passengers With Stolen Passports

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During an earlier press briefing today, a reporter asked Malaysia's Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein about reports that a media personality received an open letter from the leader of Chinese Martyr Brigade claiming responsibility for the incident. When asked about the letter, a Malaysian official said, "Yes, there is sound ground to say it is true, but again, we have said from the beginning that we are not taking anything for granted."

But at the later news conference, Rahman said, "We don’t know what happened to the aircraft, so we cannot speculate... We cannot do guess work."

He said the search area was being expanded to include an additional expanse of ocean as well as land at the northern tip of Malaysia. The search grid was divided into boxes with individual ships assigned to each box. It was now nighttime in Asia, which brought a search by air to a halt. But he said planes would resume crisscrossing the search grid for signs of the plane at daybreak.

Dozens of aircraft and ships have contributed to the search, including crews from Vietnam, China, Singapore, Indonesia, the United States, Thailand, Australia and the Philippines, Rahman said at a press conference today.

The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet is using a P-3C Orion marine surveillance aircraft to search in the northern section of the Strait of Malacca today, according to the group’s Facebook page.

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