“I don’t think at this point we can rule anything in or out,” Hagel said when asked about terrorism at a Pentagon briefing with British Defense Minister Philip Hammond.
“I think we have to continue to search, as we are,” Hagel said. “So until we have more information, we don’t know.”
Hammond agreed, saying “we cannot rule out anything at this stage. Unless and until we recover the cockpit voice recorder, we will not know for certain, and that search goes on.”
“We just have to hope that we will be successful in locating that vital piece of evidence,” Hammond said of the intensive international search for a debris field in a remote area of the Indian Ocean about 1,500 miles off Australia’s western coast.
On Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Hishammuddin Hussein said that satellite sightings of 122 objects floating southwest of Australia were “the most credible lead that we have” in the search for Flight 370.
The objects, reportedly ranging in size from about three feet to 75 feet in length, were spotted in satellite images provided by the French defense firm Airbus Defense and Space, Hishamuddin said.
Previous satellite images from French, Chinese and Australian sources also reportedly showed a potential debris field, but search ships have yet to recover any objects related to Flight 370.