The British government is reported to have warned airlines not to fly the US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to the United Kingdom as he is “highly likely to be refused entry”.
A journalist of the Associated Press news agency reported seeing a Home Office travel alert which had Mr. Snowden’s photograph, and gave his date of birth and passport number.
It said: “If this individual attempts to travel the UK: Carriers should deny boarding”.
Mr Snowden, who was last seen in Hong Kong, has not publicly said whether he wishes to come to Britain.
The travel alert, reportedly dated June 10, 2013 and sighted at a Thai airport, warned that any airline allowing him to travel to the UK would “be liable to costs relating to the individual's detention and removal”.
Bangkok Airways, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines confirmed they had received the notice, which was not supposed to be seen by the public, according to AP.
It said the document, titled “RALON Carrier Alert 15/13”, was issued by the Home Office's Risk and Liaison Overseas Network. A British diplomat was said to have confirmed that it was genuine and issued to airlines around the world.
The Home Office declined to confirm or deny the report saying that it did “not comment on individual cases”.
The Home Office has powers to block entry of anyone if it believes that it is in public interest to do so. It has used such powers in the past to deny entry to suspected extremists.