I deliberately place a question mark behind my title because, just like about everbody else in the world, I haven't a clue what happened to that missing aircraft. However, my trusty operatives over at NightWatch seem to have their suspicions [with my emphases throughout]:
Malaysia is tolerant of Islamists. It is a place where they can go to ground, rest, plan and prepare attacks, provided they cause no trouble in Malaysia. A suburb of Kuala Lumpur, the capital, was a production site for Pakistan's A.Q. Khan's nuclear weapons proliferation syndicate.
However, they go further:
This background, based on decades of watching Malaysia, helps explain Malaysia's pathetic and almost criminal lack of cooperation with international efforts to find the missing Boeing 777-200 passenger aircraft. The NightWatch hypothesis is that the Malaysian authorities suspected terrorism, but did not want to share that suspicion to avoid losing face.
Almost three dozen ships from 9 or 10 countries wasted their time searching in the wrong place and senior Malays knew it. For at least three days the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the government failed to come forward with radar tracking information in their possession that the aircraft was not lost over the South China Sea, but over the northern approach to the Malacca Strait - off the west coast of Malaysia. They have not explained their behavior.
They are not the only one's voicing suspicions. Sky News reports the complaints of an aviation expert:
As the mystery deepened, Australian aviation consultant Neil Hansford accused the Malaysian government of not telling the full story of what happened.
He told Sky News: "I'm finding in any interviews I'm doing with Malaysians, there is a fair bit of spin, there's a fair bit of denial of the boarding procedures and the manifest checking with the stolen passport list - and inconsistencies all the time
Of course, good, old-fashioned idleness and incompetence should never be ruled out before turning to conspiracy theories.
NOTE: I am going AWOL for two nights to stay with friends and deliver a stunning lecture to some unknown suckers people eager to find out more about the battle of Waterloo. It is possible you may hear the sound of gunfire on Thursday night as I leg it away at speed with the cheque firmly clutched in my hand! See you on late on Friday.