— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 11, 2014
As the search for the missing Malaysian airliner continued Tuesday, Interpol released the names of the two mystery passengers that used stolen passports, adding that the pair were not linked to terrorism.
Interpol secretary-general Ron Noble identified the two passengers as Pouri Nour Mohammad, 19, and Seyed Mohammed Rezar Delawar, 29. Both were Iranian, authorities believe they were attempting to seek asylum in Germany. Iran has offered to assist with the investigation into the two nationals.
The revelation renewed Interpol’s criticism on countries for not being stricter in checking passports.
“[F]rom Interpol’s perspective the fear or the concern we should all have is that more than a billion times each year there are people that either cross borders or board planes without having passports screened against Interpol’s database,” Ron Noble, Interpol secretary general, said during a news conference in France.
Although the identities of the two have been revealed, the Malaysia flight remains missing without a trace. Colorado satellite imaging company DigitalGlobe is asking the public for help in the search efforts. The company took several high-resolution images Saturday of the Gulf of Thailand — the flight’s last known location — using its five orbiting satellites and will post them, for free, on the website Tomnod. Anyone who visits the site can search through the images and tag anything that looks out of the ordinary.
“If there is something to see on the surface (of the water), we will see it,” Luke Barrington, DigitalGlobes’s senior manager of geospatial big data, said.
Malaysia’s military believes the plane may have turned around and headed west before it went missing, and has created new search zones based on that hypothesis.