Snowden intel in Russian hands: top U.S. lawmaker

AFP-JIJI

Much of the classified data smuggled out last year by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has likely been obtained by Russian intelligence officials, a U.S. lawmaker warned Tuesday.

“Ninety-five percent of the information he took, by the way, was related to military, both tactical and strategic information that we now believe is in the hands of the Russians,” Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, told reporters.

Rogers cited a confidential Pentagon report that assessed the data breach by Snowden, who stunned the world when he disclosed the National Security Agency’s clandestine program that scoops up the telephone metadata of most Americans.

He said the report determined that “some or all” of the information — the Pentagon says Snowden made off with up to 1.7 million documents — is in the hands of Russian intelligence agencies.

Last October, Snowden told The New York Times that he left all the documents with reporters he met in Hong Kong before flying to Moscow.