Iranians With Stolen Passports on Malaysia Flight Clear US Terror Databases
U.S. authorities have run the identities of the Iranian men who used stolen passports to board the doomed Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 through available terrorism and criminal databases and have come up with no "hits" on either of the two men, U.S. officials told ABC News.
Interpol identified the two earlier today as 29-year-old Seyed Mohammad Reza Delavar and 18-year-old Pouria Nourmohammadi. Each used European passports stolen in recent years in Thailand to board the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with separate final destinations in Europe.
While the discovery of the forged passports this weekend prompted speculation that terrorism may have played a role in the disappearance of plane, both American and Interpol officials said today the two men do not appear to be linked to any militant groups. The younger of the two was reportedly headed to Germany to see his mother.
Still, CIA Director John Brennan said this morning that his agency has "not at all" ruled out terrorism as possibly having played a part in the growing mystery.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry addressed reports of its citizens traveling with stolen passports, a spokesperson telling Iran's Mehr News the ministry "communicates the situation with Iranian embassy in Kuala lumpur."
"Many possibilities have so far been proposed including counterfeit passports and human trafficking, which are among our concerns," the spokesperson reportedly said.