MOSCOW, January 21 (RAPSI) - National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was granted temporary asylum in Russia in August 2013, expressed his concerns over threatening allegations in US mass media and plans to file a request for protection with the Russian law-enforcement authorities, Snowden’s attorney Anatoly Kucherena told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
Kucharena claimed that a statement by an unnamed US intelligence officer describing ways in which Snowden might be eliminated in Russia emerged in US media. According to the lawyer, this might be classified as a threat of homicide, and Snowden may seek the protection of Russian law enforcement authorities.
Snowden, a computer specialist and former contractor for the NSA, was the focus of international attention over the summer after he leaked to the media classified evidence of US government surveillance programs, including eavesdropping on American citizens.
The revelations have sparked domestic controversy and strained relations between the US and its allies, including Germany after it was revealed the NSA had bugged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone for several years.
He fled to Hong Kong and then to Moscow, where he was granted temporary Russian asylum despite repeated extradition demands from Washington. He is now living at an undisclosed location in Russia.