A shadowy group called the Chinese Martyrs’ Brigade has claimed responsibility for the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 — but officials were skeptical and said the claim could be a hoax.
The group — unheard of before now — on Sunday sent an email to journalists across China that read: “You kill one of our clan, we will kill 100 of you as pay back,” but the message provided no details of what brought the flight down.
And Malaysia’s acting transport minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, told reporters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday he doubted the claim’s legitimacy.
“There is no sound or credible grounds to justify their claims,” he said, according to Malaysian news reports.
Other officials said the claim could be a hoax aimed at increasing ethnic tensions between Uighurs and Han Chinese in the wake of the recent knife attack in the southwestern city of Kunming on March 1 that left 29 people dead and injured about 140 others.
The message was delivered through an anonymous, encrypted Hushmail service that is virtually impossible to trace, they said.
Meanwhile, investigators suspect the vanished Malaysian airliner may have been blown out of the sky — just like the jumbo jet that rained deadly wreckage onto Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
Asked if that suggested a bomb blew up the Boeing 777, the source said there was no evidence yet of foul play, but noted the closest parallels to the plane’s disappearance early Saturday over the South China Sea were the 1980s bombings of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie and Air India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland.