Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A member of European Parliament holds a sign of support for the NSA whistleblower.  (Photo: greensefa/flickr/cc)

Docs Reveal US Used Denmark for Rendition Flight Waiting to Kidnap Snowden

As U.S. was requesting countries apprehend and extradite whistleblower, Danish authorities gave OK for rendition craft

Andrea Germanos

A U.S. rendition plane was ready and waiting in Copenhagen in June 2013 to nab National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, a Danish news website reported this week.

At the time, Snowden had fled Hong Kong and was stuck at the airport in Moscow.

Documents obtained by Denfri.dk from Denmark's Ministry of Justice, and which back previous claims, show that Danish authorities approved a request from the United States for a specific aircraft to fly over and in Danish territory "for state purposes of a non-commercial nature," and indicate that the aircraft did, in fact, land in Copenhagen.

That aircraft, with registration number N977GA, has been used in CIA and Department of Justice kidnappings, The Register reported in 2014.

Denfri.dk received the documents, many heavily redacted, following Freedom of Information requests it had sent in August 2015 "regarding requests from the U.S. government to Denmark and other countries that they arrest and extradite Snowden if he set foot in their country," Sputnik reports.

Among the documents the site received, RT reports, was "a batch of heavily redacted emails indicating communications between senior officials in Denmark's police, Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry, including Anders Herping Nielsen, a chief consultant of the Justice Ministry's international office and its former deputy head, whose responsibility it is to decide on the extradition of people for trial in other countries."

The Justice Ministry wrote in its reply to denfri.dk: "Denmark’s relationship with the U.S. would be damaged if the information becomes public knowledge."

The whistleblower himself tweeted this on Wednesday:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Trump Says Mar-a-Lago 'Under Siege, Raided, and Occupied' by FBI

"The accountability our democracy desperately needs for its survival might, just might, be a real possibility," said the head of a watchdog group.

Common Dreams staff ·


New Ad Against Herschel Walker Features Ex-Wife's Domestic Violence Accusations

A leader at the anti-Trump group behind the advertisement targeting the U.S. Senate candidate said that "our campaign is built around the voices of Georgia Republicans who know that he's unfit for office."

Jessica Corbett ·


Michigan AG Urges Probe of Alleged GOP-Led Effort to Break Into Voting Machines

"We must denounce the Big Lie and those who refuse to uphold the will of the people in our elections," said one democracy defender.

Brett Wilkins ·


Hopes Rise for Return to Iran Nuclear Deal Destroyed by Trump

"We stand five minutes or five seconds from the finish line," said one negotiator, who added that "three or four issues" that are "sensitive for Iranians and Americans" remain to be resolved.

Brett Wilkins ·


Sinema Received Over $500K From Private Equity Before Shielding Industry From Tax Hikes

"Remember the days when taking half a million bucks from an industry, and then passing legislation that only benefits that industry, while passing the costs onto everyone else, would be called corruption?" asked one critic. "Today it's just lobbying as usual."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo