Snowden travelled to India before 2011: report

August 29, 2013 11:22 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 08:57 pm IST - Washington:

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, who revelaed some of America’s most closely guarded secrets, had travelled to India before 2011 but did not report the trip during his background—check process.

“The background checkers failed to verify Snowden’s account of a past security violation and his work for the CIA, they didn’t thoroughly probe an apparent trip to India that he had failed to report,” the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting a review after leaks of classified documents by him.

During the routine check that the National Security Agency contractor needed to keep his security clearance, the checkers didn’t get significant information from anyone beyond his mother and girlfriend.

“The background interviewers learned from a work supervisor that Snowden had travelled to India, which Snowden hadn’t reported during the background-check process, but the final background report failed to clarify the purpose of the trip,” it reported.

India was among over a dozen nations Mr. Snowden (30) approached for asylum while he was stranded at the Moscow airport. New Delhi had turned down his request.

The review report said several aspects of the background check “did not meet the requirements” of a 1997 document. The most recent background check of Mr. Snowden was “so inadequate that too few people were interviewed and potential concerns weren’t pursued,” the Journal said.

National Counterintelligence Executive Frank Montoya Jr, who led the review, said the 2011 background check by a private contractor “did not present a comprehensive picture of Snowden.” After the background check renewed Mr. Snowden’s high-level security clearance, he had access, through his job at Booz Allen Hamilton, to top secret documents about the U.S. surveillance programs, the paper said.

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