…the two men traveling on stolen passports may not have had any relation to the downing of the Malaysian flight, at least if this story is true:
Benjaporn Krutnait, owner of the Grand Horizon Travel agency, said the Iranian, a long-term business contact who she knew only as “Mr Ali”, first asked her to book cheap tickets to Europe for the two men on March 1. She initially reserved one of the men on a Qatar Airways flight and the other on Etihad.
But the tickets expired when Benjaporn did not hear back from Ali. When he contacted her again on Thursday, she rebooked the men on the Malaysia Airlines flight through Beijing because it was the cheapest available.
Their final destinations were Copenhagen and Frankfurt. So it sounds as though no particular flight was specified, they were planning to split up later on, and which flights they would take to reach those European cities was left up to the travel agent, who was instructed merely to book them on the cheapest ones. That would be an awfully strange way to plan an airplane bombing.
What’s more, a person claiming to be friends of the two men says they were young Iranians looking to emigrate to Denmark and Germany, and that one had a mother living in Frankfurt. That ties in quite well with the report from the travel agent about the way the tickets were reserved, including the fact that their final destinations were different, and that there was a shady Iranian middleman. My guess is that the middleman procured the stolen passports, as well.
If this is all true—and I’d say it’s more likely to be true than not, because it neatly fits the fact situation as presented—it’s highly unlikely that these particular men had anything to do with the disaster that befell the Malaysian flight. They were probably just looking for a better life away from Iran, and willing to pay for fake passports to get it. Fate intervened.
[ADDENDUM: This article claims to show a photo of the younger Iranian, the one who had plans to be met by his mother in Germany. Very sad; only nineteen years old. One of hundreds of tragic stories.
The article also contains a strange and spooky detail about cellphones: that relatives claim that many of the passengers' smartphones are still ringing. I'm wondering how much of what is currently being reported is actually true.]