The WSJ story is more recent than the Reuters one below it. In the Reuters piece, officials are saying that they suspect the Uighur jihadists but have nothing definitive to link the attack to them. Then this cryptically reported statement from an unnamed “previously unknown group” strongly suggests that the plane crash was a jihad attack, without coming out and saying so. The story, obviously, is developing.
239 people were killed.
“Vietnam Searchers Report Spotting Plane Debris,” by Jason Ng, Gaurav Raghuvanshi and Jake Maxwell Watts for the Wall Street Journal, March 9 (thanks to WTD):
On Sunday afternoon, a statement issued in the name of a previously unknown group claimed that the disappearance of the plane was a political act aimed at the Chinese and Malaysian governments and referred to last week’s attack in a Chinese train station by alleged Uighur separatists. It stopped short of a claim of responsibility. Malaysian officials said that they were unaware of any claim of responsibility but would investigate all possibilities.
“Malaysia investigators probe possible airport security lapse,” by Niluksi Koswanage for Reuters, March 9:
…UIGHUR LINK “NOT RULED OUT”
The timing of the incident, a week after knife-wielding assailants killed at least 29 people at a train station in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, led to speculation that militants from China’s Uighur Muslim minority could be involved.
One of the Malaysian officials said the authorities were not ruling out Uighur involvement in the jet’s disappearance, noting that Uighurs were deported to China from Malaysia in 2011 and 2012 for carrying false passports.
“This is not being ruled out. We have sent back Uighurs who had false passports before. It is too early to say whether there is a link,” the official said.
Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country that has courted close ties with Beijing in recent years, deported 11 Uighurs in 2011 it said were involved in a human smuggling syndicate.
The next year, it was condemned by U.S.-based Human Rights Watch for deporting six Uighurs the rights group described as asylum seekers. Human Rights Watch said the six had been detained while trying to leave Malaysia on fake passports.
A source with ties to the Chinese leadership said there was no confirmed connection to Uighur militants, but described the timing as “very suspicious” coming so soon after the Kunming attack.
Li Jiheng, governor of Yunnan province where Kunming is located, told reporters on Sunday that there was currently no information to show that the knife attack and the missing flight were “necessarily connected”….