Father of NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden arrives in Moscow

Former US spy agency contractor's father said he hopes to meet with his son, who has been granted asylum by Russia

Lon Snowden, father of fugitive former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, is interviewed by Reuters in Washington in August.
Gary Cameron/Reuters

The father of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow on Thursday to meet with his son, who was granted asylum in Russia in August after he leaked details of government surveillance programs and fled the United States.

Snowden's father, Lon Snowden, told journalists at a Moscow airport that he has not yet had any direct contact with his son, but that he felt "extreme gratitude that my son is safe and secure and he's free."

Lon Snowden also said that his son is not planning to return to the U.S., and thanked Russia and President Vladimir Putin for sheltering Edward Snowden. He would not say when or where the two would be meeting.

Edward Snowden was stuck at a Moscow airport for more than a month after his arrival from Hong Kong, before he was granted asylum in Russia. His exact whereabouts remain secret.

The 30-year-old systems analyst has been charged in federal court in Virginia with violations of the Espionage Act.

Al Jazeera and wire services

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