An official with direct knowledge of the latest intelligence thinking told CNN about the theory.
The Boeing 777-200 disappeared March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on aboard.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced Saturday that Malaysian officials believe the plane's movement and disconnect of communications were too deliberate to be accidental.
Immediately following his announcement, officials began searching the home of 53-year-old pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
"The Malaysians don't do this lightly," the official told CNN.
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