And it will get a lot thicker before this is through.
Captain Zaharie is now stepping to the forefront of authorities’ suspicions:
Captian Shah [Zaharie] was an ‘obsessive’ supporter of Ibrahim. And hours before the doomed flight left Kuala Lumpur it is understood 53-year-old Shah attended a controversial trial in which Ibrahim was jailed for five years.
Campaigners say the politician, the key challenger to Malaysia’s ruling party, was the victim of a long-running smear campaign and had faced trumped-up charges.
Police sources have confirmed that Shah was a vocal political activist – and fear that the court decision left him profoundly upset. It was against this background that, seven hours later, he took control of a Boeing 777-200 bound for Beijing and carrying 238 passengers and crew.
Ibrahim (also known as Anwar) seems like a relative good guy here, at least as best I can tell (and I can’t tell much, I freely admit). That certainly doesn’t mean all his supporters are.
This might explain the relative closed-mouthedness of the Malaysian government about the plane’s course and fate. However, if it was a political protest, it’s an extraordinarily extreme one for a pilot of all those years with a good record. And wouldn’t you think we’d have heard something from him by now about it? Protests only work if people know what’s being protested.
Of course, if Zaharie and the passengers are dead, we wouldn’t be hearing from him, except indirectly.
It was also announced that the plane may have sent a last ping while on the ground, and that Zaharie and his wife are either separated or divorced. And then there’s this: Zaharie or the co-pilot (or someone acting as pilot) seems to have spoken to ground control after one of the systems was turned off, and reported nothing awry.
I am relatively certain that there’s a lot more that authorities know that they’re not announcing.
[NOTE: Malaysian names turn out to be confusing, even to the newspapers. Sometimes people are referred to by one name, sometimes by another.
Here's information about Ibrahim's sodomy trials. This is a long-running tale in Malaysia, which sounds like quite a country---twenty-year imprisonment possible even for consensual sodomy, and a person can be convicted of sexual crimes on the testimony of one man or two woman. Sharia law.]