Reports that a Cuba-bound plane from Moscow changed its course, stirred up speculation that National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board. However, the reports have been denied by a flight crew member.
According to RT: “An Aeroflot plane en route from Moscow to Havana deviated from its course on Thursday, FlightAware live flight tracking indicated. The news sparked online speculation that NSA leaker Edward Snowden may have been aboard the aircraft.
“A crew member told reporters upon arrival, however, that Snowden was not on board the flight. ‘He was not on board. The flight went on absolutely normally,’ he said.
“Aeroflot 150 to Havana took off from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport at 14:10 pm local time (10:10 GMT) on Thursday and landed around 22:30 GMT. Whistleblower Edward Snowden has been holed up in the Russian airport for the past two weeks.”
Havana is believed to be Snowden’s most likely transit point, when and if he decides to fly to Latin America – where three countries have offered him political asylum. Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the NSA, has been on the run from the United States since early June.
China, U.S. Continue Spar Over Snowden
“Officials from China and the United States have sharply disagreed over Beijing’s handling of the fugitive U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.
“U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said Washington was ‘very disappointed’ that China had not sent Snowden back from Hong Kong to the United States where Snowden is wanted for leaking details of secret U.S. surveillance programs.
“‘When we encounter differences, or sensitive issues, we need to address them directly in consultation with one another and that is why we were very disappointed with how the authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong handled the Snowden case, which undermined our effort to build the trust needed to manage difficult issues,’ Burns said.” – rferl.org