Terrorism cannot be ruled out as a factor in the disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines plane, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency said in an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday.
“We have to pursue all leads here…We have to find out if this airplane came down as a result of terrorist actions,” CIA Director John Brennan said.
Brennan said reports that two individuals used stolen passports to get on the plane “raises questions,” but it does not mean the men had “terrorist intentions.”
The search for the missing Boeing 777 has yet to produce any answers to what happened to the plane carrying 239 passengers and crew that went missing Saturday.
While Brennan said terrorism could not be ruled out, he added that there have not been any credible claims of responsibility from terrorist groups for the plane’s disappearance. The head of Interpol said Tuesday he did not believe the plane vanished because of a terrorist incident.
Brennan was also asked about reports that the plane’s transponder had been turned off in-flight, saying there are a number of "curious anomalies" about why the flight lost contact with air traffic control.
"It's still a mystery at this point. You know, did it turn around? You know, were the individuals with these stolen passports in any way involved?" Brennan said. "You know, what about the transponder? Why did it sort of, you know, just disappear from the radar?”
“I think at this point we just have to, again, be patient and wait and let the authorities continue to investigate,” he added.