One of the most accomplished public servants in the nation, for more than 30 years, Mr. Kerik served his country – most notably as an advisor to the U.S. Presidential Envoy of Iraq, and New York City's Police and Correction Commissioner. His term in the NYPD was marked by dramatic reductions in crime, improved community relations, and his oversight of the rescue, recovery and investigation of the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001.
On Sunday, March 9, a plane carrying 239 people went missing
and has yet to be found. Not long after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for
Beijing, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777, vanished from the radar
screens off of the coast of Viet Nam.
The weather was clear, there were no signs of distress, no calls for
help, and then silence. No radio contact with air traffic control, and no sign
of the flight on radar.
According to published reports, two people on that flight boarded with
stolen passports, one Italian and one Austrian. The Malaysian Transport
Minister said that the identities of two other passengers are also of concern,
and he is working with a number of international intelligence agencies as part
of his inquiry. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has also
responded with grave concern.
Malaysian authorities are reluctant to call it terrorism, but for
several years, we have seen increased terror activity in Thailand, Malaysia and
Indonesia. The two stolen passports were reportedly stolen in Thailand and used
by two people who bought their airline tickets together for the Malaysian
flight to China.
That flight disappeared somewhere over the coast of Viet Nam, with an
onboard catastrophe that prevented the crew from calling for help and
announcing any sign of distress. Search crews consisting of 45 ships and 22
aircraft have located what they have reported are pieces of the aircraft’s door
and tail wing.
If there was an explosion in the rear of the plane or the cargo bay
or an engine malfunction, we would most likely have heard from the pilots. That
leads us to believe that something happened in the front of that plane that
took out the communications system, and ultimately took the plane down.
Although it is still too early to call it terrorism, this tragedy, still
a mystery, raises some very serious concerns that must be addressed as the
search continues for the missing plane.
Were the stolen passports reported to Interpol by the Thai authorities,
and/or the Italian and Austrian Embassies? If not, why not? If so, why
weren’t these people flagged at passenger check-in and the carriers of the
stolen passports stopped?
The authorities will be looking at the cargo handlers, the vendors,
other passengers, and even the crew assigned to the flight, including the
pilots. Every inch of video footage will be scoured for clues. Who
were these people? Did they act alone or did others assist them,
including airport or airline personnel?
Although it is still too early to call it terrorism, it not too early to
remind people that it is highly possible this is another act of terrorism
against, not just the West, but humanity. Whatever the failures were that
led to this disaster must be determined, assessed and learned from. Terrorism is here to stay, and the enemies of freedom are constantly
seeking new methods of attack. Let just hope this isn’t the result of one.