A man travelling with a stolen passport on a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner was an Iranian teenager trying to migrate to Germany, and is not believed to have any terrorist links, police said Tuesday.
The announcement is likely to dampen, at least for now, speculation that the disappearance of the Boeing 777 was linked to terrorism. Police said a second passenger also travelling with a stolen passport has not been identified. Both bought their tickets in Thailand and entered Malaysia together.
No debris from the plane has been found. On Tuesday, baffled authorities expanded their search to the opposite side of Malaysia from where it disappeared more than three days ago with 239 people on board.
The airline says the pilots did not send any distress signals, suggesting a sudden and possibly catastrophic incident. Speculation has ranged widely about possible causes, including pilot error, plane malfunction, hijacking and terrorism.