Now the military seem to have "confirmed" that their radar picked it up over the Malaccan Strait (200 miles off course) an hour or so after the plane being lost on civilian radar. So - a deliberate change of course and a malfuction/switch-off of the transponder unit. Curiouser and curiouser as Alice said. Hijack or "crew issues" more likely maybe?
The passport/terrorism angle is in some ways a red herring as, legit passport or not, a terrorist would still need to smuggle actual bomb components onto the plane which should be picked up by security procedures independent of the passport. Still, it shows how (relatively) easy it is to obtain one. Between 2010 and 2011 over 300,000 United States passports were reported as lost or stolen and this from a country where only a relatively small percentage of the population actually has one. I don't know what the UK/EU figures are. And, apparently, 10% of the 200 million people arriving in the UK at airports are still not having their passports checked properly.