Spies from the Russian SVR intelligence convinced Snowden in Hong Kong to fly to Moscow last June, according to a senior ex-KGB personnel.
Boris Karpichkov, the ex-KGB major, told Nigel Nelson of The Mirror that:Â â€œIt was a trick and he fell for it.â€Â Now the Russians are extracting all the intelligence he possesses.â€
The 55-year old major, who specialized in counter-intelligence, fled Moscow in 1998 after spying on Lativia, his native. He along with his family has been granted asylum in Britain.
He says he is still in contact with old pals and the service cronies close to the Snowden case.
According to him, Snowden was picked up as a defection candidate way back in 2007, while he worked for the CIA in Geneva. It was a meticulous strategy well enacted.
Snowden, hired by the CIA as a systems administrator and technician in 2006, was sent on various missions under diplomatic cover. He was â€˜reading the trafficâ€™ at the Geneva CIA station, the Vanity Fair quoted a former CIA official.
As a 24-year old, he soon became disillusioned with CIA and the way the US government functioned. He resigned from CIA in 2009.
However, Snowden is believed to have had a web presence between 2001 and 2012 and presumably he started downloading documents in 2012 summer. He stole about 1.5 million classified documents, of which only about 200,000 documents have been passed on to the journalists.
He flew from Hawaii to Hong Kong on 20 May, 2013, but became stranded in Moscow on 23 June when his US passport got void and his Ecuadorian documents ran into legal issues.
Karpichkov claims that it was all planned; Kremlin leaked details about Snowdenâ€™s planned flight to Moscow, which provoked the US into revoking his passport on June 22, thus leaving him stranded.
The former major also claims that the SVR spies persuaded the fugitive to seek asylum in Russia, as the safest nation. Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, also advised him the same.
He goes on to add that Russia is more interested in having him because they want to figure out how the US and Britain encrypt and decrypt secret information.
â€œCodebreakers are the top targets of every secret service,â€ he said and goes on to say,
â€œHe will stay in Russia until they have got everything they want from him. They need the time to extract all the classified intelligence he possesses about the operational methods and tactics of Western security agencies.â€
Providing information about Snowdenâ€™s location and life-style, the former KGB official said,
â€œHe lives in a block of flats in Moscowâ€™s Âsuburbs 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.â€
He also hinted that he may be pressurized into divulging the information through death threats planned by the Russians.
â€œHe wasnâ€™t a Russian spyÂ before he went to MoscowÂ . But death threats have frightened him. These threats were a carefully planned operation by the Russian security services to make Snowden stay in Russia.â€
It is still not clear whether or not the whistleblower still retains the cache of the stolen documents, which also contains military intelligence; however, Snowden had recently told NBC that he destroyed them, quite contradicting his earlier stance when he told that he gave all the stolen documents to journalists he met in Hong Kong.
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