The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency flew a “rendition flight” in an attempt to detain National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to documents released by the Danish news outlet Denfri.dk.
While the documents, which were obtained by Denfri after the organization filed a Freedom of Information Act suit in August 2015, were heavily redacted, they confirmed that the Copenhagen airport was used to hold an American rendition plane in June 2013.
Denfri applied for access to the documents in August 2015, after a Gulfstream V with registration number N977GA was reportedly spotted flying over Scotland to Copenhagen.
The Register noted that the “secret U.S. government jet” was previously used by the CIA for “rendition flights on which terror suspects disappeared into invisible ‘black’ imprisonment.”
The CIA’s reported attempt to capture Snowden occurred in the same month that the former NSA contractor was granted political asylum in Moscow, Russia, after he revealed that the NSA was collecting bulk metadata from American citizens.
Although access to many of the documents were denied, CPH Post reported that the released documents “confirm that the Gulfstream aircraft used Danish airspace and landed at Kastrup,” and included “an overflying and landing permission for a USA state flight.”
RT reported that the documents also contained “a batch of heavily redacted emails indicating communications between senior officials in Denmark’s police, Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry,” with messages from Anders Herping Nielsen, an official who is responsible for determining the extradition of individuals for trial in foreign countries.
The Post also claimed that in an email to Denfri, the Justice Ministry explained the heavily redacting documents by writing, “Denmark’s relationship with the USA would be damaged if the information becomes public knowledge.”
WikiLeaks posted a link to a report on the documents, noting that both Scotland and Denmark were used for a “U.S. failed Edward Snowden rendition flight mission”
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 26, 2016
Snowden chimed in on Twitter, writing, “Remember when the PM Rasmussen said Denmark shouldn’t respect asylum law in my case? Turns out he had a secret.”
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 27, 2016