MOSCOW, May 29 (RAPSI) – Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who was granted political asylum in Moscow last summer, would like to return home to the United States under certain conditions, but will instead ask to extend his temporary asylum.
Snowden said that if he “could go anyplace in the world, that place would be home.” “I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home,” he said in an interview with NBC.
The interview with Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was taped in Moscow last week after months of preparation and is Snowden’s first interview with a US television network.
When Williams asked him if he would request an extension of his asylum in Russia, which expires on August 1, the fugitive whistleblower said: “If the asylum looks like it’s going to run out, then of course I would apply for an extension.” He also said he was “trained as a spy … in the traditional sense of the word.”
Edward Snowden, a computer specialist and former contractor for the US National Security Agency, was the focus of international attention in the summer of 2013 after he leaked to the media classified evidence of US government surveillance programs.
On June 14, 2013 the US authorities charged Snowden under three articles, each of them stipulating punishment of up to 10 years in prison. Two of the charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.
Having initially fled to Hong Kong, he arrived in Moscow on June 23. On August 1, after an extended stay at a Moscow airport, he was granted temporary asylum and is now living at an undisclosed location in Russia.