Snowden disappears from hotel and seeks asylum
THE US is braced for a drawn-out effort to capture the rogue spy who exposed its domestic surveillance apparatus, while President Barack Obama has been urged to prosecute him for treason.
Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old intelligence contractor, was seeking asylum after apparently leaving a hotel in Hong Kong where he leaked top secret documents on the National Security Agency.
"The only thing I can do is sit here and hope the Hong Kong government does not deport me," he told the 'Guardian' newspaper.
Congressmen accused Mr Snowden of inflicting a historic blow to US intelligence and providing assistance to al-Qa'ida.
John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN, accused him of "the worst form of treason".
Experts said that he had placed himself under threat of ultimately being returned to the US by choosing to station himself in a territory that has a 17-year-old extradition treaty with Washington.
A member of Iceland's parliament pledged to help Mr Snowden.
Birgitta Jonsdottir, who previously assisted WikiLeaks with its disclosures of US secrets, said she and the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative were already preparing assistance. (© Daily Telegraph, London)