FBI vows to pursue Snowden for 'harming US'
Edward Snowden, the former CIA analyst who admitted exposing secret US surveillance programmes, harmed national security, the FBI director has said.
Robert Mueller told the House judiciary committee that a criminal investigation had been launched into the conduct of Mr Snowden, a 29-year-old former National Security Agency contractor.
"These disclosures have caused significant harm to our nation and to our safety. We are taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these disclosures," he said.
His comments were the first explicit confirmation that the US government is pursuing Mr Snowden, who has been hiding in Hong Kong since May 20 and leaking details of the programmes to the 'Guardian' newspaper. He has promised to contest any US attempt to extradite him.
In an interview with the 'South China Morning Post', Mr Snowden claimed that the US had perpetrated hacking attacks on "hundreds of targets" in Hong Kong and mainland China since 2009.
* Edward Snowden (33) a father of two from Fence, near Burnley, Lancashire, was inundated with messages via his Twitter page in the mistaken belief that he was the fugitive analyst. He said the messages were evenly split between "lovers and haters". He said "one guy wanted me to burn in hell". (© Daily Telegraph, London)