Snowden disappears after arrival in Moscow—passengers

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A TV screen shows a news report of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping US surveillance programs, at a shopping mall in Hong Kong Sunday, June 23, 2013. The former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs has been allowed to leave for a “third country” because a US extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory’s government said Sunday. AP PHOTO/VINCENT YU

MOSCOW—The US spy wanted by Washington, Edward Snowden, did not emerge Sunday with other passengers in the terminal after he landed in Moscow on a flight from Hong Kong, as some fellow travelers said he may have been whisked away direct from the airport tarmac.

Snowden was not among the passengers on the Aeroflot flight who emerged into the public area of Terminal F at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after the flight from Hong Kong arrived Sunday, an AFP correspondent reported.

But some passengers told AFP they saw a car parked next to the plane after it taxied to the terminal building, leaving the possibility he may have been taken away separately from the other passengers.

“They were getting luggage straight from the plane into the car. It seemed a little strange. I saw three pieces of luggage,” Aeroflot passenger Jason Stephens from the United States told AFP.

AFP correspondents also said they saw a diplomatic car at VIP arrivals with an Ecuadorean flag. It was accompanied by an SUV, also apparently from the embassy.

Snowden’s final travel plans have not been confirmed but a source within Aeroflot told Russian media he planned to head to Venezuela via Havana on Monday.

Rossiya 24 state rolling news channel speculated the ex-operative could be spending the night at one of the South American embassies in Moscow.

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