Investigating the MH17 Crash

ABC News contributor Col. Steve Ganyard (ret.) and ABC news Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross on the investigation of Malaysian Air Flight MH17.
4:06 | 07/20/14

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Transcript for Investigating the MH17 Crash
on the downing of flight 17 and the threat to passenger jets worldwide with our chief investigator reporter Brian Ross and with our analyst Steve ganyard. They're laying out the string of evidence. Tying this indirectly to Russia. The Ukrainians are saying the crew comprised Russian militaries who immediately committed the terrorist act. We can't go that far. The U.S. Cannot go that far. They've demonstrated, they say, through intelligence that Russian military delivered the sa-11 and tried to sneak it out of the photo after the crash and showing the photos with two missiles apparently missing. They have not identified who pulled the trigger. At some level, it doesn't matter. Though it would be significant information. This is such a sophisticated missile system it would require Russian training. It would. You can't pull somebody out of the field, a farmer tending his field, or bring in rebels from Russia to say, here, operate this very, very sophisticated missile system. We're getting new reports from the rebel leaders that they may have, may have gotten the black box from the airliners. You don't think that will make a difference? I don't. I think we're really in a recovery operation right now. The black box will tell us nothing more than this airplane was a perfectly good airplane up to the moment that the missile hit it. We know a missile brought it down. It's not a conventional crash. We need to go on to the intelligence forensics and find out who did it and why. So many questions about what the plane was doing flying over that area in the first place. I want to put up this map right new that shows the FAA flight restrictions right now. Places where it is prohibited. So much of globe right now. Absolutely. It's interesting to note that over Ukraine, most major european airlines and united airlines were actually flying over that same location in the week before the shootdown. United and other American airlines have stopped flying there. Some questions are, if the U.S. Knew about the intelligence indicating there were these long-range missiles and Ukraine knew about it, why was the air space still open? And the answer? Hard to determine, George. We also had Nate -- nato three weeks ago saying we are seeing training by the Russians on these sophisticated tact Ta D tactical things. Who determined 33,000 feet was safe? It's confusing. These missiles can go far higher. They can. The man pads. The shoulder-fired missiles. Tens of thousands of them around the world. They keep the intelligence agencies up at night. Worried about a civilian shootdown. The sa-11 is a sophisticated, radar-guided, surface-to-air missile system. It goes up as far as any airliner could ever fly. We get to the question though -- would the -- it's hard to imagine that anyone would want to deliberately shoot down a civilian aircraft. Can't this missile system distinguish between a civilian and a military aircraft? The sa-11 can tell if it's a Russian airplane or a nonrussian airplane. They saw a blip. Locked on to it. Said it's not Russian. Pull the trigger. What we're hearing from the intercepts, this joy, hey, we brought down a military airplane. Oh, no, it's a commercial. Why would they want the world opinion against them? It was probably a mistake, but it was a terribly bad one. Steve brought up the threat of the shoulder-fired missiles that can only go about 10,000 or 12,000 feet. It had been a particular threat to passenger aircraft going on takeoff and landing. Now they're held by rebels and different groups in 47 different countries. Those are people that do want to shoot down special aircraft. That's their goal. They're in large areas. Throughout the mideast and Africa. It's a serious concern.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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