Tags: Edward Snowden | NSA/Surveillance | secret | u.s. | flight | rendition | scottish air

Report: Secret US Flight Over Scotland to Arrest Snowden Questioned

Report: Secret US Flight Over Scotland to Arrest Snowden Questioned
Edward Snowden on screen (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 February 2016 08:58 PM

Scottish officials are questioning a U.K. government decision to allow an American flight over Scottish airspace that attempted to capture NSA leaker Edward Snowden, The National reports.

The plane was sent from the U.S. East Coast on June 24, 2013, one day after Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow, on a "rendition" mission, according to the website.

The plane flew well above the standard 45,000 feet and did not file a flight, plan Scottish journalist Duncan Campbell reported.

Some officials sympathetic to Snowden were unhappy with the news, feeling that British official may have been complicit in violating his rights.

"As a matter of course and courtesy, any country, particularly an ally, should be open about the purposes of a flight and the use of foreign airspace or indeed airports," said Alex Salmond, Scottish National Party foreign affairs spokesman.

"What we need to know now is, was this information given to the U.K. government at the time. If so, then why did they give permission? If not, then why not?" Salmond said. "As a minimum requirement, the U.K. authorities should not allow any activity in breach of international law in either its airspace or its airports."

Since the United States ultimately did not succeed in arresting Snowden, the point is moot "as to whether intention can constitute a breach of human rights," Salmond said. "However, we are entitled to ask what the U.K. government knew and when did they know it."

Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Green Party also called for a probe.

"It will certainly raise suspicions that an aircraft previously identified as involved in rendition flew through U.K. airspace at that time," Harvie said. "We have a right to know what U.K. and Scottish authorities knew about this flight given it is implicated in the U.S. response to whistleblowing about global surveillance."

Snowden is living in Russia, having been granted asylum by that country's government. The United States maintains Snowden's leak of documents related to surveillance methods has harmed national security. Snowden's defenders say he exposed only illegal surveillance of American citizens.

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Scottish officials are questioning a U.K. government decision to allow an American flight over Scottish airspace that attempted to capture NSA leaker Edward Snowden, The National reports. The plane was sent from the U.S. East Coast on June 24, 2013, one day after Snowden...
secret, u.s., flight, rendition, scottish air, edward snowden
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Tuesday, 02 February 2016 08:58 PM
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