Officials say that missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was taken off of its course "deliberately."

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak made the announcement during a press conference this morning, confirming the mounting suspicion that the Boeing 777's mysterious disappearance was not accidental. "In view of this latest development, the Malaysian authorities have refocused their investigation into the crew and passengers on board," Najib said, adding that the search "has entered a new phase."

The plane, which was carrying 239 passengers, departed Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing at 12:40 a.m. on March 8, but lost communication with civilian air controllers around 1:20 a.m. 

Najib also confirmed that the plane's two communications systems were disabled by someone on board roughly an hour after takeoff. Furthermore, he verified reports that the aircraft changed course following its ascension, then descended only to turn once more after vanishing from a civilian radar. 

In addition, Najib said the investigation will shift to the "crew and passengers on board," in an attempt to determine who may have wanted to disrupt the flight. 

[via New York Magazine]

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