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WikiLeaks: Snowden makes 6 new asylum applications

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Transit passengers eat at a cafe with a TV screen with a news program showing a report on Edward Snowden, in the background, at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, Russia, on June 26.

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LONDON  — Secret-spilling Web site WikiLeaks said today that NSA leaker Edward Snowden has put in asylum applications to six new countries as his effort to find refuge from American prosecution falters.

Snowden is believed to be stuck in a Moscow airport transit area and has already sought asylum from more than 20 countries, including Venezuela and Ecuador. Many have turned him down.

President Barack Obama has publicly displayed a relaxed attitude toward Snowden’s movements, saying last month that he wouldn’t be “scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”

But WikiLeaks said in a message posted to Twitter today that it would not be identifying the six new countries involved “due to attempted U.S. interference.”

The message appeared to be an allusion to the drama surrounding the flight of Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose plane was recently abruptly rerouted to Austria over suspicions Snowden was aboard.

U.S. officials wouldn’t directly answer questions about whether they had any information leading them to believe that Snowden was on Morales’s plane. They have said that officials have contacted their counterparts across Europe to remind them that they would like to see Snowden returned to the U.S.

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