Where is Edward Snowden?
Zee Media Bureau
Moscow: The whereabouts of Edward Snowden remain a mystery as the United States continues to make efforts to bring the fugitive NSA leaker back where he will be tried for espionage.
Snowden has been untraceable since Tuesday after failing to board his Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Havana from where he was expected to travel to Ecuador for asylum.
The airlines had confirmed that Snowden had checked in but the flight took off with no sign of the former NSA contractor.
The Interfax news agency reportedly quoted a Russian security source and an Aeroflot source saying that he was not on board the flight to Havana.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday said that Snowden is "healthy and safe" although he refused to reveal his whereabouts.
Assange said Snowden left Hong Kong on Sunday "bound for Ecuador via a safe passage through Russia and other states".
Snowden abandoned his job in Hawaii and went to Hong Kong on May 20 to begin issuing a series of leaks on the NSA gathering of phone call logs and Internet data, triggering concern from governments around the world. The programs collect vast amounts of Americans` phone records and worldwide online data in the name of national security.
Snowden acknowledged revealing details of the classified NSA surveillance program causing huge embarrassment to President Barack Obama`s administration. The leaks forced Obama`s administration to defend US intelligence agencies` practice of gathering huge amounts of telephone and Internet data from private users around the world.
The Justice department of the US government later charged him with espionage and theft of government property in the NSA surveillance case.
The United States formally sought Snowden`s extradition but was rebuffed by Hong Kong officials who said the US request did not fully comply with their laws.
He later travelled to Russia and the White House urged Russia to “do the right thing” and made an appeal for his extradition and demanded that he be denied asylum.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said Monday it was "disappointing" that Snowden had been able to fly from Hong Kong to Russia, warning of consequences for ties with Moscow and Beijing. Kerry dubbed Snowden a traitor to his country and warned both Russia and China that their relations with the US might be damaged by their refusal to extradite him.