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March 18th, 2014
05:28 PM ET

Counter terrorism expert: People on jihadist websites discussing missing plane

(CNN) – Investigators of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have ruled out the possibility that it was targeted by the same terrorist group behind a Malaysia hijack plot in 2001. Meanwhile, a Chinese official Tuesday said that background checks on Chinese citizens aboard the plane show no signs of ties to terrorist organizations.

"The fact that nobody has claimed credit so far makes me suspicious this was actually an act of terrorism," says Seth Jones, associate director of RAND Corportation's International Security & Defense Policy Center.

When terrorists are involved, there is usually chatter on websites trafficked by extremist groups. Jones scanned a few such jihadist forums on Tuesday.

"They are actually quite mixed along these lines. There are some individuals who have said that an act like this would be legitimate, especially if there was Chinese on board. The Chinese have repressed the Uighurs in parts of China," said Jones.

"But there's been a very strong push back from some of these jihadist forums that there were Muslims on board, an so taking down an airplane that killed Muslims was at its core an act not supported by Islam," said Jones.

For more analysis from counter terrorism expert Seth Jones, check out the video above.

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