Tags: Edward Snowden | NSA/Surveillance | Russia | Edward Snowden | Russia | FSB | NSA

KGB Defector: Russia Targeted Snowden Years Ago

Image: KGB Defector: Russia Targeted Snowden Years Ago

Monday, 09 Jun 2014 06:26 AM

By Elliot Jager

Russia's intelligence service had its eye on Edward Snowden six years before he exposed National Security Agency secrets and took asylum in Moscow, the Mirror reported, citing the Sunday People.

KGB defector Boris Karpichkov said that the successor to his old agency opened a file on Snowden in 2007 while he was assigned to a CIA facility in Geneva, according to the newspaper. Karpichkov further said that Russian intelligence stampeded the United States into canceling Snowden's passport.

Russian agents, posing as diplomats, met with Snowden in Hong Kong, where he had arrived on June 9, 2013, and encouraged him to seek refuge in Moscow. Then they leaked his intentions of flying to Russia forcing the United States to void his passport.

WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange also told Snowden that "he would be physically safest in Russia," Karpichkov said, according to Business Insider.

Urgent: NSA Spying: Do You Approve or Disapprove? Vote Now.

Snowden arrived in Moscow on June 23 and has been there since. He was not working for the Federal Security Service, known as the FSB  — a successor agency to the Soviet KGB — when he arrived in Moscow. "But death threats have frightened him. These threats were a carefully planned operation by the Russian security services to make Snowden stay in Russia. Snowden cannot leave Moscow even if he wanted as the Americans have canceled his passport," said Karpichkov.

The former Russian intelligence operative said he maintains contacts with spy circles in Moscow and has been told that Snowden will be detained in the Russian capital until he has no more useful information to expose.

"Now the Russians are extracting all the intelligence he possesses," said Karpichkov. Russian intelligence is particularly interested in how United States and British intelligence encrypt and decrypt secret data.

Another Russian intelligence defector, Olig Kalugin, also said that "the Russians are very pleased with the gifts Edward Snowden has given them. He's busy doing something. He is not just idling his way through life," Business Insider reported.

According to Karpichkov, "He lives in a block of flats in Moscow's suburbs controlled by the FSB. His flat is heavily alarmed to stop anything happening to him. He meets the FSB twice a week over plenty of food and drink."

Snowden now knows how to say "glass of vodka" and "hangover," in Russian, said Karpichkov.

If true, this is the opposite of what Snowden told The Washington Post when he insisted that he does not drink alcohol.

Meanwhile, British intelligence sources said that the information Snowden revealed has robbed MI5 and MI6 of their "digital advantage" which had allowed them to spot and disrupt Islamist terrorist plots, the Mirror reported, citing the Sunday People.

Urgent: NSA Spying: Do You Approve or Disapprove? Vote Now.

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