The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is fueling speculation that this was a terrorist strike, in part because two people with stolen passports apparently were on board the flight. So, was this terrorism? Short answer–NO.

Let me elaborate why I think this has nothing to do with terrorism. For starters, why hit a Malaysian target?The missing Malaysian flight was not filled with westerners nor was it going to a western destination. Instead, it was filled with Chinese and Malaysians. It just does not make sense as a target of radical Islamists.

Another consideration, that would indicate a terrorist act, would be at least two other such incidents. This harkens back to the failed Al Qaeda plot in 1994–BOJINKA–which proposed to bring down almost one dozen jumbo planes crossing the Pacific. The test run for this was carried out by Ramsi Yousef, who boarded a Philippine Air flight in the southern Philippines, built a bomb on board, stuffed it under a seat and debarked the plane. He did not want to be on board when the bomb went off.

While this is a possible scenario, it is not likely.

What about the two passengers with stolen passports?

Simply does not make sense to have two guys with ironclad stolen docs get on board a plane and blow themselves up. You do not get to use them again. Why waste such resources?

Some have wondered how two people with stolen docs could get on board this flight. Very simple. There is no such thing as an international document database that permits a border guard in Kuala Lumpur to verify whether or not a document is accurate. Such a system does not exist.

But, let’s not let facts get in the way. I imagine that the media hype machine will be running full tilt trying to manufacture some good terror fear in hopes of milking some more ratings.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.