• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 11:30am
Edward Snowden

FBI bid to get father to meet Snowden in Moscow fails

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 July, 2013, 3:22pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 August, 2013, 7:22am

The father of US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden says the FBI tried to enlist him to fly to Moscow to persuade his son to return home, but the effort collapsed when agents could not establish a way for the two to speak once he arrived.

"I said, 'I want to be able to speak with my son … Can you set up communications?' And it was, 'Well, we're not sure'," Lon Snowden said. "I said, 'Wait a minute, folks, I'm not going to sit on the tarmac to be an emotional tool for you'."

The younger Snowden has been stuck in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23. Russia is considering his request for temporary asylum. The US is pressing Russia to hand him over.

In separate interviews with The Washington Post and a Russian television station, the elder Snowden offered a vehement defence of the young man who has been labelled a traitor by many. He also thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government for the "courage" they had shown in keeping his son safe.

It is not precisely clear why the negotiations over the proposed Russia trip failed, and FBI officials declined to comment.

"Sure, I could get on a flight tomorrow to Russia. I'm not sure if I could get access to Edward," said Snowden, who said he had communicated with his son through unspecified "intermediaries" in recent days.

Yesterday, Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said he was arranging for Snowden's father to visit Russia. He said he would send Lon Snowden a letter of invitation.

Kucherena said Snowden had asked him to get in touch with his father because "he needs moral support".

The Washington Post, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse


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This article is now closed to comments

the sun also rises
our whistle-blower Snowden
really needs the moral
support of his dear father
during his long stay in the
transit zone of Moscow airport
waiting for a temporary asylum
in Russia
we Hongkongers hope that
this father-and-son encounter
can be materialized soon
take care, Snowden
they are still after you
and your safety will be
at risk in the rest of your
life due to your courageous
revelations of the top secrets
of the NSA of America


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