Chairman of the House intelligence committee and a Republican representative from Michigan, Mike Rogers, has reportedly claimed that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had some Russian help in his mega revelations of the classified surveillance programmes.
Rogers allegedly called Snowden a ‘thief’, and said that he had some Russian help, adding that the committee was investigating whether the possibility was true.
According to The Guardian, Rogers pointed that it wasn’t a gee-whiz luck event that Snowden ended up in Moscow under the handling of the Russian intelligence service, referring to the whistleblower’s weeks long stay at the Sheremetyevo airport.
Chairman of the House committee on homeland security, Michael McCaul, backed Rogers’ comments and said that he believed Snowden was cultivated by a foreign power to do what he did.
Although, Rogers did not have evidence supporting his claims but pointed that Snowden used methods beyond his technical capabilities and had help with his travel documents when he was holed up at the Moscow airport.
Snowden, who revealed classified US data about the country’s alleged mass surveillance programmes deemed by many privacy advocates as ‘Orwellian’ in nature, had been granted political asylum in Russia for a period of one year.
The whistleblower had said earlier that there was “zero-percent chance” that Russia had received any documents and that he had handed all his NSA data to journalists from media outlets before leaving Hong Kong.
Snowden has consistently denied being involved with foreign spying agencies, but as his temporary asylum draws to a close, he is said to have asked Germany to grant him refuge and in turn he would help the government investigate US’ snoop-ops in their soil. (ANI)