American whistleblower Edward Snowden, who’s blew the lid on US massive spying operations at home and abroad, says US “government officials want to kill” him.
Snowden told a German television network that “These people, and they are government officials, have said they would love to put a bullet in my head or poison me when I come out of the supermarket, and then watch as I die in the shower.”
The 30-minute interview with the German public broadcaster ARD TV was shot in Moscow and is to be broadcast later Sunday at 2200 GMT, with initial extracts to be released during an earlier talk show at 2045 GMT.
UPI (United Press International) news agency reported last week that two unnamed US officials, “one from the Pentagon and the other a National Security Agency analyst, were quoted by BuzzFeed as saying they wanted to kill Snowden personally.”
After the explicit death threats, Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said the American whistleblower feared for his life. Kucherena had asked for better security for Snowden.
The Pentagon official, who was previously a US Army Special Forces officer, was quoted in the BuzzFeed article, titled “America’s Spies Want Edward Snowden Dead”, as saying, “I would love to put a bullet in his head.”
“I do not take pleasure in taking another human being’s life, having to do it in uniform, but he is single-handedly the greatest traitor in American history,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying by BuzzFeed.
Fearing for his life Snowden, fled the US — before disclosing the information on National Security Agency’s spying operations — first to Hong Kong and then to Russia where he was granted temporary asylum last summer.
US federal prosecutors have filed espionage charges against Snowden after the leaks.
US President Barack Obama said in December 2013 that Snowden’s leaks did unnecessary damage to America’s spying operations. “The way in which these disclosures happened has been damaging to the United States and damaging to our intelligence capabilities,” Obama said.
Snowden’s revelations have caused uproar in the US violations of privacy rights. They have also angered many US allies whose leaders were targeted by the NSA’s operations.
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