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Continued: Mystery of Snowden's whereabouts deepens as he's nowhere to be seen at Moscow airport

  • Article by: MARIA DANILOVA , Associated Press
  • Last update: June 26, 2013 - 4:55 PM

The departure and transit area is huge and has dozens of small rooms, some labeled "authorized personnel only," where someone could potentially seek refuge with support from airport staff or security personnel. And security forces or police patrolling the area can easily whisk a person out of this area through back doors or corridors.

There are also a few VIP lounge areas, accessible to business-class passengers or people willing to pay $20 per hour. Snowden was not seen in those areas.

Sheremetyevo's press service declined to comment on Snowden's whereabouts.

Hong Kong officials said they allowed Snowden to leave for Moscow because the U.S. government got his middle name wrong in documents it submitted seeking his arrest. Hong Kong immigration records listed Snowden's middle name as Joseph, but the U.S. government used the name James in some documents and referred to him only as Edward J. Snowden in others, Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen said. The U.S. also did not provide his passport number and did not respond to requests for clarification, Yuen said.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks gave a terse update on Snowden, saying he was "well" in a post on Twitter.

WikiLeaks says one of its staffers, Sarah Harrison, is traveling with Snowden, but the statement gave no indication if the update came from her, from Snowden, or from some other source.

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson did not immediately return a call and a text seeking further comment.

In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Assange said that he was limited in what he could say about Snowden due to security concerns. He denied reports that Snowden was spending his time at the airport being debriefed by Russian intelligence officers.

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Yoong reported from Kuala Lumpur. Lynn Berry in Moscow and Raphael Satter in London contributed to this report.

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