back to top

Where In The World Is Edward Snowden?

Updating: Snowden has left Hong Kong and is believed to be seeking political asylum in Ecuador, Iceland, and possibly other countries. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would only say that Snowden is currently in a "safe place."

Posted on

After hiding out in Hong Kong for two weeks, Edward Snowden, the source behind leaks about top-secret government surveillance programs, boarded a plane for Moscow. From there, he's expected to travel to Ecuador.

Snowden's move comes as the State Department confirmed Saturday they had asked Hong Kong to extradite Snowden so he may face espionage and theft charges in the U.S.

A source told The New York Times the government of Hong Kong had been providing Snowden with an apartment.

"For the past week, Mr. Snowden, 30, appears to have been staying in an apartment in Hong Kong's Western District that is controlled by the Hong Kong government's security branch, according to a person who has followed the case and spoke on the condition of anonymity. Mr. Snowden appears to have been granted access to the apartment after seeking protection from the Hong Kong police against a possible rendition attempt by the United States, the person said."

Here's a press release from the government of Hong Kong that Snowden left the city.

The statement issued by Hong Kong (to the US) is just remarkable on several levels

Glenn Greenwald

@ggreenwald

The statement issued by Hong Kong (to the US) is just remarkable on several levels

Journalists camped out at the Moscow airport waiting for Snowden's arrival.

Miriam Elder

@MiriamElder

Snowden welcome party

An Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong believed to be carrying Edward Snowden landed in Moscow. Russia's state ITAR-Tass news agency cited an unnamed Aeroflot airline official as saying Snowden was on Flight SU213, which landed on Sunday afternoon in Moscow. The report said he intended to fly to Cuba on Monday and then on to Caracas, Venezuela.

The Ecuadorean ambassador told Reuters that Snowden was meeting with him.

Ecuadorean ambassador, at Moscow airport hotel, tells reporters he expects to meet Edward Snowden #breaking

Reuters Top News

@Reuters

Ecuadorean ambassador, at Moscow airport hotel, tells reporters he expects to meet Edward Snowden #breaking

Ecuador's foreign minister tweeted, "The government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward Snowden."

El gobierno del Ecuador ha recibido solicitud de asilo de parte de Edward #Snowden.

瀼㰾浩⁧牳㵣栢瑴㩰⼯ち琮楷杭挮浯瀯潲楦敬楟慭敧⽳㠱㠶㜰㤰㤶刯捩牡潤慐楴潮湟牯慭⹬灪≧㰾瀯㰾⁰汣獡㵳昢汵彬獵牥湟浡≥刾捩牡潤倠瑡iㅦ牁捯㱡瀯㰾⁰汣獡㵳產敳彲慮敭㸢剀捩牡潤慐楴潮䍅⼼㹰瀼挠慬獳∽睴敥彴整瑸㸢汅朠扯敩湲敤捅慵潤⁲慨爠捥扩摩潳楬楣畴⁤敤愠楳潬搠⁥慰瑲⁥敤䔠睤牡⁤匣潮摷湥㰮瀯㰾⁰汣獡㵳琢敷瑥浟摥慩㸢椼杭猠捲∽㸢⼼㹰

#BREAKING: Snowden has requested asylum in Ecuador: foreign minister

Agence France-Presse

@AFP

#BREAKING: Snowden has requested asylum in Ecuador: foreign minister

The U.S. government has allegedly revoked Snowden's passport, but that doesn't mean anything if a country allowed him in.

US has revoked Snowden's passport. USG is in contact w/other western hemisphere govts regarding getting ahold of him.

margaret brennan

@margbrennan

US has revoked Snowden's passport. USG is in contact w/other western hemisphere govts regarding getting ahold of him.

Revoked passport wouldn't prevent travel to a country that wanted Snowden but would complicate travel to other 3rd countries & through them

margaret brennan

@margbrennan

Revoked passport wouldn't prevent travel to a country that wanted Snowden but would complicate travel to other 3rd countries & through them

We are disappointed by the decision of the authorities in Hong Kong to permit Mr. Snowden to flee despite the legally valid U.S. request to arrest him for purposes of his extradition under the U.S.-Hong Kong Surrender Agreement. We have registered our strong objections to the authorities in Hong Kong as well as to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels and noted that such behavior is detrimental to U.S.-Hong Kong and U.S.-China bilateral relations.We now understand Mr. Snowden is on Russian soil. Given our intensified cooperation after the Boston marathon bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters -- including returning numerous high level criminals back to Russia at the request of the Russian government -- we expect the Russian Government to look at all options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged.

UPDATE - June 24, 8:15 a.m. ET: Snowden Not on Havana-Bound Flight

Various news organizations are reporting Monday that Snowden did not leave Moscow on a flight to Havana.

From Reuters:

There was no sign that former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was onboard a Russian plane bound for Cuba as it prepared to take off on Monday, a Reuters correspondent on the plane said.

Doubts are now being raised that Snowden even landed in Moscow at all.

No, I'm not related to @InvisibleObama as far as I know. Thanks for asking, though.

17A

@SnowdensSeat

No, I'm not related to @InvisibleObama as far as I know. Thanks for asking, though.

Max Seddon, a correspondent for the Associated Press, is one of the many reporters who booked seats on the 12-hour flight believing Snowden would be on board.

Standing next to Edward Snowden's seat on flight to Cuba. He ain't here.

max seddon

@maxseddon

Standing next to Edward Snowden's seat on flight to Cuba. He ain't here.

UPDATE - June 24, 11:30 a.m. ET: Snowden is healthy and safe, according to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

In a conference call with reporters, Assange said he knew where Snowden was but would not offer any further details.

"He is in a safe place," Assange said. "His spirits are high."

Assange also confirmed that the WikiLeaks legal team has been helping with Snowden's asylum applications for Ecuador and Iceland. According to Assange, Snowden was able to fly out of Hong Kong on a "refugee document of passage" from the Ecuadorian government. WikiLeaks funded his travel.

Assange would not say whether the Russian government assisted Snowden when he landed in Moscow. When asked how Snowden successfully left Hong Kong, Assange said: "That is a fascinating story that I'm sure will one day be told. Today is not the day."

UPDATE - June 25, 8:45 a.m. ET: Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Edward Snowden has not entered the country.

This could be tricky phrasing, however, as some reports interpreted Lavrov's comments to mean that Snowden is still at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

"We are in no way involved with either Mr Snowden, his relations with US justice, nor to his movements around the world," he said Tuesday. "He chose his itinerary on his own. We learnt about it... from the media. He has not crossed the Russian border.

UPDATE - 10:50 a.m. ET: Russia President Vladimir Putin says Snowden is in the transit zone of the airport but will not be extradited to the U.S.

BREAKING: #Snowden will not be handed over to US since he hasn't committed any crimes in Russia - Putin http://t.co/YlbhyyqVM8

RT

@RT_com

BREAKING: #Snowden will not be handed over to US since he hasn't committed any crimes in Russia - Putin http://t.co/YlbhyyqVM8

Putin: #Snowden is a free man, the sooner he chooses his final destination, the better for him http://t.co/YlbhyyqVM8

RT

@RT_com

Putin: #Snowden is a free man, the sooner he chooses his final destination, the better for him http://t.co/YlbhyyqVM8

MORE: Any accusations of Russia related to #Snowden are 'nonsense' - Putin http://t.co/YlbhyyqVM8

RT

@RT_com

MORE: Any accusations of Russia related to #Snowden are 'nonsense' - Putin http://t.co/YlbhyyqVM8

Contact Hunter Schwarz at hunter.schwarz+DONE@buzzfeed.com.

Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Jessica Testa at jessica.testa@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.