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Local terror expert discusses Ukraine plane crash
ALBANY - A local terror expert believes the Malaysia Airlines jet that crashed in Ukraine was shot down by a long range missile system capable of showing details about the plane it was targeting.
"It's more than just a dot on a computer screen it tells you where it is, altitude, direction of travel and from that they should know what it is," said Rick Matthews with the National Center for Security and Prepardness.
Ukrainian leaders believe pro-Russian separatist acquired the missile system and fired at the jet with 295 people aboard, but rebel group deny any involvement.
"Things can happen, people begin to act on their feelings and their emotions and based on that that's when it requires strong objective leadership to help keep different factions somewhat controlled," said Matthews.
Months ago, the Federal Aviation Administration advised U.S. carriers to avoid flying over Crimea on Ukraine's western border. The advisory did not apply to flight paths through other regions, such as the one flown by the Malaysian aircraft.
"In this case, Malaysia Airlines is going to have to answer to why they made that decision. It's not accidental. That was their flight path," said Matthews.
Malaysia Airlines said in a news release the flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Reuters reported the U.N. Security Council is planning to hold an emergency meeting Friday to discuss the crash. Several nations are involved in the crisis. The plane, operated by the Malaysian flag carrier, was carrying mostly Dutch citizens when it crashed in Ukraine.
The last time a commercial airplane was shot down by a missile was 2001 when a Siberia Airlines flight was hit and crashed in the Black Sea near Ukraine. Ukrainian leaders at the time said it was possibly hit by an errant missile from a nearby military training exercise. The Ukrainian government has denied any involvement in the latest incident.