Gulf airlines told not to carry US whistleblower

Edward Snowden exposed US surveillance of internet, email and Facebook usage

US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Gulf carriers, along with most major airlines around the world, have been issued a travel alert by the British government not to allow US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to fly to the UK.

The region's airlines have not revealed what action they will take if he attempts to board one of their aircraft.

The travel alert, issued on June 10 by the Risk and Liaison Overseas Network, which is part of the UK Border Agency, contained a photograph of Edward Snowden and gave his date of birth and passport number.

“If this individual attempts to travel the UK carriers should deny boarding," it said, according to a report by the Associated Press news agency.

Snowden, who is currently based in Hong Kong, revealed himself to be the source who leaked top-secret documents detailing how the US National Security Agency (NSA) was monitoring emails, phone calls and social media forums used by American citizens.

The programme, named Prism, allegedly allowed US officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats and had signed up companies such as Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google as part of the monitoring process.

The travel alert is believed to have been issued to all major airlines, including those in the Gulf. The document also said any airline which allowed Snowden to travel to the UK would "be liable to costs relating to the individual's detention and removal".

“Emirates does not comment on matters of security,” a spokesperson for the Dubai-based airline, which is the largest international carrier in the world, said when asked by Arabian Business what action it would take if Snowden attempted to board one of its aircraft to fly to the UK.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and Doha-based Qatar Airways also declined to comment on the matter. The UK Home Office was not immediately available to comment on the issue when contacted by Arabian Business.

"We do not comment on individual cases," a spokesperson previously told The Guardian newspaper.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Last of the mohicans

In those so called democratic (they should change it to Hypocratic) there is freedom of speech but no freedom after the speech.
When the guys speaking about crimes are charged and sent to prison and the criminals left free (Manning case) and the country plays 1984 remake and feel they need to put in prison the guy that stands out, there is something fundamentally wrong.

Yes Mister Obama, You Scan and instead of a dream you have a drone. We know that.
Maybe you would be wise to return the Nobel prize as you do not deserve it.

Posted by: Arabian man

so much for freedom of speech and freedom of thought.Guess it applies ONLY when the intrests of UK-US and other allies are served.
US-UK has no permanent friends only permanent interests.

Posted by: S in UAE

Freedom of Speech does not apply to confidential information that you obtain in your work for a national security department of the government. That's illegal disclosure of confidential information, and in this case is damaging to how US-UK try to maintain security. This is not his opinion which he's expressing (which he is fully entitled to voice in the US/UK), it's highly confidential information obtained under strict confidentiality agreements.
Encroachment on privacy in the US definitely needs to be investigated, but leaking the other info about UK and US security on other governments has nothing to do with privacy concerns for US Citizens. The guy is enjoying his day in the spotlight, but the more intelligence agencies he angers, the shorter that day may be.

Posted by: Ametis

What is UK afraid of ???

Posted by: Expat08

Yeah and the Ecuadorian embassy in London is already full.

Posted by: nimby

Hong Kong is very close to America.
Closer than to Europe.

If he is innocent, why doesnt he go back home?
He has nothing to fear because he has done nothing wrong.

Posted by: Tariq A

Probably afraid from ending up in Gitmo bay with no trial or recourse to legal support like thousands before him.

Apparently, American 'Freedom' and justice for all is myth that has already been disapproved.

Read a non-american news paper every now and then.

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Arabian Travel Market: Diversification drives tourism investment

Arabian Travel Market: Diversification drives tourism investment

ATM in Dubai will show the changing face of the industry as entertainment...

Checking in to Africa's hospitality revolution

Checking in to Africa's hospitality revolution

With the African population soaring by 30 million people a year...

Arabs flee Gulf heat for Alpine idyll, despite talk of veil ban

Arabs flee Gulf heat for Alpine idyll, despite talk of veil ban

Zell am See's high mountains, dense forests and crystal-clear...

Most Discussed