(NEW YORK) — Sunday on This Week, House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that there has been no “terrorist chatter” picked up by the United States relating to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished nine days ago after leaving Kuala Lumpur headed toward Beijing.
“No, there’s been no terrorist connections whatsoever, there’s been no terrorist chatter. There’s nothing out there indicating it’s terrorists. Doesn’t mean it’s not, but so far nothing has been picked up by the intelligence community from Day One,” said King, who chairs the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterintelligence & Terrorism.
During the interview, King expressed dismay at the way the investigation has been handled by authorities in Malaysia, stressing the focus should have been on the pilot and co-pilot from the beginning of the investigation.
“The fact is the FBI was not asked in. And you know these pilots they should have been – the pilot and co-pilot – should have been the focus from the start,” King told Stephanopoulos. “That would be ordinary law enforcement, investigatory procedures. The FBI could have been called to help that, Interpol could have been called in, our intelligence agencies.”
“But my understanding is that Malaysia is not really cooperating at all, are very reluctant to lay what they have out on the table,” King added.
When asked by Stephanopoulos what the next steps would be for U.S. authorities, King said the FBI and other U.S. and international investigators should be more involved.
“Basically we have to get involved, we have to use all our intelligence. And I wish there was more FAA, NTSB, FBI involvement. I wish the FBI were over there,” King said.
“If this is going to be a criminal investigation as far as those, the pilot and the co-pilot, we should use as much international law enforcement as possible,” King added. “The FBI is the best at that… again Interpol, a basic unit should be used. Malaysia, for whatever reason, has been resisting. There’s obviously something with the pilot and the co-pilot. And that has to be drilled down on.”
King also expressed reservations on how quickly the two Iranians who boarded the flight with stolen passports were cleared of suspicion.
“Just the fact that they were there and written off so quickly as having any threat,” King said. “I mean, why did they have to get on that plane to seek asylum? The fact that it was so easy for them to get on with stolen passports. It just creates a terrorist atmosphere. Having said that, there’s nothing showing it. I just wouldn’t rule it out now is all.”
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