Ex-CIA intelligence analyst seized by Russians?
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has gone missing after he failed to board a flight from Moscow to Cuba, prompting questions as to the whereabouts of the former CIA analyst who is wanted on charges of espionage.
After Snowden left Hong Kong yesterday for Moscow, he was expected to board an Aeroflot plane scheduled to fly to Havana – the next stop on his journey to planned political asylum in Ecuador.
However, journalists who boarded the same plane immediately noted that Snowden’s seat was empty and that he had not made the flight. “Snowden had never actually been sighted in Moscow, and there was actually no real evidence that he had ever been in Russia at all,” reports the Guardian.
“It is currently unclear if Snowden was seized at the last minute by Russian authorities after the White House said it ‘expects’ Moscow to extradite the fugitive spy back to the United States to face espionage charges on home soil,” reports the Daily Mail.
This follows reports that large numbers of Russian police and other officials had arrived at Sheremetyevo Airport before Snowden’s expected departure.
Snowden had been checked in for the SU150 flight and Wikileaks announced that its advisors were accompanying him to Havana. According to Interfax, Snowden has already left Russia but his destination is not known.
Washington had urged Russia to expel Snowden and send him back to the US before he could escape to Cuba, but Kremlin officials refused to comment on the situation, saying only that they had no idea where Snowden was located.
Earlier today, Ecuadoran foreign minister Ricardo Patino Arocam said he didn’t know the whereabouts of Snowden, adding that his request for political asylum was still under consideration. Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has been protected by the Ecuadoran Embassy in London for over a year.
Snowden’s disappearance is likely to be part of a bait and switch so as to hide his precise movements. As Mike Adams documented earlier today, the United States has proven that it does not respect the laws of other countries when seeking to kidnap individuals extrajudicially.
US lawmakers have demanded Snowden return to America to face charges. “I want to get him caught and brought back for trial. I think the chase is on and we’ll see what happens,” Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said.