A previously unknown group – the Chinese Martyrs’ Brigade – has claimed that it was behind the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
An email was sent to various journalists in China, saying: “You kill one of our clan, we will kill 100 of you as payback.”
But officials in Malaysia have said they believe the group’s claim could be a hoax.
The email did not explain what had happened to the plane.
Malaysia’s acting transport minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, said today: “There is no sound or credible grounds to justify their claims.”
It is reported that the email could be designed to increase ethnic tensions between Uighurs and Han Chinese in the wake of a knife attack in Kunming on March 1 in which 29 people were killed and more than 100 were injured.
Officials said the message was sent through an anonymous Hushmail service that is virtually impossible to trace.
Investigators have also revealed that debris that was believed to be from the plane turned out to be unconnected to the aircraft.
Police are probing a mystery Iranian called “Mr Ali” who bought the tickets for passengers who used stolen passports on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
Despite a huge search, there is still no sign of the flight that was carrying 239 people. The Boeing 777-200 went missing over the South China Sea on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
Desperate relatives are waiting to hear news about their loved ones. One of the passengers has been named as Firman Chandra Siregar, a 24-year-old from Indonesia.
His family – including his parents Risman Siregar and wife Erlina Panjaitan – are being comforted by friends during their ordeal.