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Two mystery passengers add to intrigue in airliner’s disappearance

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(CNN) — Among the many mysteries in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are the identities and motivations of two men who used stolen passports to board the aircraft.

While there’s no evidence yet to suggest the men had anything to do with the plane’s disappearance, their presence on the flight has set off an international investigation and renewed discussion about screening global travelers.

Malaysian officials have shared photos and biometric information — which can include fingerprints — from the men with the United States, a U.S. intelligence official said Monday. No further details were immediately available.

Here’s what we know about the men:

We know something about what they looked like, but we don’t know their nationalities. Malaysia’s civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, revealed Monday that authorities have reviewed security footage of the men passing through Kuala Lumpur’s airport, and they are not “Asian looking men.” At least one of them appeared to be black, Rahman said.

Their tickets were apparently purchased together. The tickets were bought from China Southern Airlines in Thailand’s baht currency at identical prices, according to China’s official e-ticket verification system Travelsky. The ticket numbers are contiguous, indicating they were issued together. Both were for travel from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam via Beijing. The Italian passport’s ticket continued on to Copenhagen, Denmark. The Austrian passport’s ticket ended in Frankfurt, Germany. On Monday, Thai police said the tickets had been purchased by an Iranian man for two friends he said wanted to go home to Europe.

They were traveling on passports stolen in 2012 and 2013 in Thailand, according to Interpol. The passports were issued by Austria and Italy. Authorities don’t know yet if the men were involved in the passports’ theft or how they came to possess them.

By Michael Pearson

CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto contributed to this report.

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