• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 12:11pm
Edward Snowden
NewsWorld
SECURITY

Edward Snowden being ‘manipulated’ by Russia, says retired NSA director

Retired general Keith Alexander accuses National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden of being under Moscow's control

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 May, 2014, 1:20pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 May, 2014, 4:07pm
 

Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is being manipulated by Russian authorities, the former director of the US National Security Agency (NSA) reportedly said on Thursday, adding that he believed the leaks would cost lives.

General Keith Alexander, who retired in March, told the Australian Financial Review that Russia would be looking to capitalise on the fact that Snowden’s leaks had been so disruptive and damaging to the US.

“I think he is now being manipulated by Russian intelligence. I just don’t know when that exactly started or how deep it runs,” Alexander said.

“I suspect Russian intelligence are driving what he does,” he added.

“At the end of the day, I believe peoples’ lives will be lost because of the Snowden leaks.”
Keith Alexander

“Understand as well that they’re only going to let him do those things that benefit Russia, or stand to help improve Snowden’s credibility. They’re not going to do things that would hurt themselves.”

Snowden, a former NSA contractor, was granted asylum by Russia in August last year after shaking the American intelligence establishment to its core with a series of leaks on mass surveillance in the United States and around the world.

Alexander said he believed Snowden’s leaks amounted to “the greatest damage to our combined nations’ intelligence systems that we have ever suffered”.

“The biggest ever. And it has had a huge impact on our combined ability to protect our nations and defend our people,” he told the respected business journal.

“At the end of the day, I believe peoples’ lives will be lost because of the Snowden leaks because we will not be able to protect them with capabilities that were once effective but are now being rendered ineffective because of these revelations.

“Think about in 1998 when somebody disclosed that we were monitoring Osama bin Laden’s communications via his Satcom phone. After that, we never heard bin Laden communications again. And he was free to go on and develop the 9/11 plots.”

On security, he said he believed the biggest threats were terrorism and cyberattacks and these were being compounded by “regional geopolitical fissures that seem to be opening up at an alarming rate”.

Citing a cyberattack on the South Korean banking system in early 2013, which North Korea denied carrying out, he said this was one example that could have sparked a much more adverse response.

“If that attack had been more severe, we simply don’t know how South Korea might have responded, and whether we could constrain that response,” Alexander said.

 

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
7

This article is now closed to comments

I Gandhi
Edward Snowden is the greatest American hero and deserves the Congressional Medal of Honour plus the Nobel Peace Price.
Hum-Balang
The general of course didn't say he has retired on account of Snowden.
A Kuro
Retired general Keith Alexander is a rogue.
Mikado
Edward Snowden proved that the US is a terrorist state.
ennoun
If Snowden had released the same information in China, India, Russia or in any number of other countries, what would they have done to him? Likely shot him without hesitation, Since it happened to the US, of course all the "hero" comments accorded to him by the usual anti US group is to be expected. To suggest he receive a medal and the Nobel price is an absolute joke.!
Face the facts, every country collects the same information.
jayb
dang! what a SURPRISE!
i was expecting him to say, "Snowden is the best thing since the day i got my 4th star..." or "since i got my first laid..."
crbfile
Russia is manipulating Snowden? So, what? You and I are getting manipulated hundreds of times per day by all sorts of parties. Too bad someone can't manipulate the NSA do to the right thing.....

Login

SCMP.com Account

or