Berlin (AFP) – Fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden voiced fears that U.S. “government officials want to kill me”, in a TV interview to be broadcast in Germany Sunday.
The comment comes just days after Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said the American feared for his life, following a report by BuzzFeed of explicit threats against him from unnamed Pentagon and National Security Agency (NSA) officials.
Snowden also told the German broadcaster: “These people, and they are government officials, have said they would love to put a bullet in my head or poison me when I come out of the supermarket, and then watch as I die in the shower.”
The translated Snowden quotes were released by German public television chain ARD, as part of a longer interview shot secretly in Moscow that it plans to screen later Sunday.
In a BuzzFeed article posted online last week and entitled “American Spies Want Edward Snowden Dead”, a Pentagon official is quoted as saying: “I would love to put a bullet in his head.”
“In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself,” a current NSA analyst was further quoted as saying.
One unnamed army officer told BuzzFeed that Snowden could be “poked” on his way home from buying groceries by a passerby who is actually a U.S. agent.
Snowden “thinks nothing of it at the time (and soon) starts to feel a little woozy,” the U.S. intelligence officer is quoted as saying. “And the next thing you know he dies in the shower.”