Authorities brush off claims by unheard-of group taking responsibility for missing plane

Putrajaya said today there was little credibility to a claim by the Chinese Martyr's Brigade that it was responsible for the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic) said he had also read about the claim made by the Chinese Martyrs Brigade but said there was little grounds to believe it.

"There is no sound or credible grounds to justify their claims," Hishammuddin told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport today.

The unheard-of group called the Chinese Martyrs’ Brigade have claimed responsibility for MH370's disappearance in a statement emailed to several journalists in China.

However, the statement, which was sent in pdf format, has been dismissed as having little credibility by the Chinese media.

The Brigade cites the grievances of China’s Uigher minority people and the territorial and religious persecution they have suffered as the motivation for the attack.

However, there is no way to verify the claims or prove any connection to the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200.

Hishammuddin said he had just met with a delegation of Chinese leaders and party members who had arrived from China.

"We discussed the ongoing search and rescue efforts being carried out by personnel from nine countries," he said.

"We also discussed the two men who had boarded the flight using stolen passports."

Responding to questions from reporters that China was unhappy with Malaysia's handling of the situation, Hishammuddin said the Chinese ambassador was constantly briefed.

He said that the Chinese ambassador in Malaysia had seen first hand all the efforts by various Malaysian agencies to locate flight MH370.

Hishammuddin said meetings had also been held with the United States intelligence agencies and they had exchanged information on the two individuals.

Biometric data and closed-circuit television footage have been passed to relevant intelligence agencies, both local and international, probing the incident.

Hishammuddin declined to elaborate whether there had been a security breach or lapse which allowed the two passengers to board MH370 with stolen identification documents.

"There are more than 40 million passports reported missing or stolen with Interpol," Hishammuddin said.

He reiterated that locating MH370 was the main focus of the search and rescue forces and efforts were still ongoing.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin made a plea to the local and international media not to disseminate false or unverified news.

"The spreading of such speculative reports are an unwelcome distraction to the search and rescue personnel," Hishammuddin said.

"The next-of-kin of passengers and crew members onboard MH370 are already hoping against hope," he added.

"Do not give them false hope by spreading false or unverified information or reports. We have nothing to hide."

He said that instructions had been given to the Malaysian intelligence agencies to release the CCTV images of the two individuals when the time was right.

Hishammuddin said he had not received any information regarding the five passengers who had checked in but failed to board MH370.

"Investigations are ongoing and we will release the information once we have it." – March 10, 2014.