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Terrorism expert calls missing Malaysian jet suspicious

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Officials in southeast Asia are sending fingerprints and photos of two men who boarded that still-missing Malaysia Airlines jet to U.S. authorities to compare against known terrorists.  The men also used false passports and bought one-way tickets.

Meanwhile, crews searching for the plane that disappeared from radar four days ago still have found no trace of it.

Among other things, the stolen passports are leading many people to wonder if terrorists are involved.

CBS 46 news reporter Donna Rapado spoke to an expert at Georgia State University about that possibility. 

Professor of terrorism studies, Anthony Lemieux said the plane's disappearance "does seem really suspicious and really concerning because first and foremost how can a plane crash in this sort of manner?"

U.S. and international investigators are looking into terrorism as one of several possibilities in connection to flight 370 disappearing on Friday. 

Radar lost track of the jet within an hour of taking off from Kuala Lumpur, as it headed to Beijing, China.  

Officials now say the plane had turned around before going silent with no distress calls.  And four days later searchers have found no debris or evidence of the plane. 

The two men who used the stolen passports are a "critical piece" of the puzzle, said Professor Lemieux.  "Once we know who they are it might highlight some connections or network issues," he said.

"Then also just knowing about the region, that in the 90s the Bojinka plot to blow up the airliners.  There are certainly things that we would be concerned about in that sort of space," Lemieux said.

U.S. officials say they have no intelligence at this point indicating terrorists are behind the disappearance. 

"One of the things that's odd also is that no one has come forward and claimed credit," added Lemieux.  "While that doesn't always happen with an attack, usually someone steps into the void." 

Meanwhile, the families of all 239 people on board wait for word of their loved ones.

That includes three Americans, a Texas man and two children ages 2 and 4.

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