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Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:05 PM

TGI Fridays, Irish pubs & free Wi-Fi: Welcome to Edward Snowden's airport hideaway

Last edited Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:40 PM - Edit history (1)

"Comfortable" or not, I certainly wouldn't want to be Snowden stranded in this airport, having to elude detection, with so many pissed-off people looking for him. This "high-school drop out" has managed to stay a few steps ahead of capture, so far, at least.

I hope there is a way for him to stay safe, and settle somewhere "in excile". I heard Venezuela might take him in.

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TGI Fridays, Irish pubs and free Wi-Fi: Welcome to Edward Snowden's airport hideaway
By Ghazi Balkiz and Marian Smith, NBC News

MOSCOW – If self-proclaimed NSA leaker Edward Snowden has the means, he might just be able to survive indefinitely in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. Dozens of journalists have been looking for Snowden at the vast complex, but he hasn't been spotted since arriving in Russia from Hong Kong last weekend. Russian authorities say that he is in the airport's transit area -- the zone between the departure gate and formal entry into the country.

So what is his apparent new home like?

As it turns out, the old Soviet international terminal about 20 miles northwest of central Moscow is quite comfortable.
There are restaurants – from your relatively formal establishments to TGI Fridays and your run-of-the-mill fast-food joints like Burger King (although this one conveniently sells beer).

Local Russian cuisine and salads are available at the more traditional cafes. And there are plenty of coffee shops should the ever-elusive fugitive want to fuel up on caffeine before a flight to Havana, Cuba, or Quito, Ecuador on Russia's international airline Aeroflot. There are even a couple of Irish pubs, a medical center and of course, free Wi-Fi – no doubt essential for the digital desperado. If Snowden is looking to buy some clothes, options are limited but they do exist. He could splash out on expensive designer shirts or go budget and browse for souvenirs. He might even blend in as a tourist with a trusty Russian flag T-shirt.

Rooms at the Capsule Hotel in the transit area are available to rent for short stretches – a minimum of 4 hours for $70 – or for longer layovers. Obviously the longer you stay, the more you pay, so it could get rather pricey for someone seeking sanctuary. But at the very least Snowden could take a shower and nap for a few hours. Bathrooms in the terminal building are clean but the facilities are downright luxurious in business class lounges. In addition to eating and drinking for free, Snowden might help himself to shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, flip flops and a towel on his way to the shower.

Although the airport is vast, there are actually very few places to hide in Sheremetyevo's wide-open spaces. However, there is believed to be a VIP area that may have direct access to the tarmac for high-profile personalities and government officials. While Snowden’s whereabouts remain unknown-- he wouldn’t be the first person to log in some serious time in an airport terminal. Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian refugee, spent 17 years living in Charles de Gaulle airport when he was denied entry to France, but couldn’t go back to Iran. His story made the big screen when it was dramatized in the 2004 Steven Spielberg movie “The Terminal” starring Tom Hanks.

Snowden's diplomatic options would definitely have to dry up to top that.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/29/19189848-tgi-fridays-irish-pubs-and-free-wi-fi-welcome-to-edward-snowdens-airport-hideaway?lite

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Reply TGI Fridays, Irish pubs & free Wi-Fi: Welcome to Edward Snowden's airport hideaway (Original post)
99th_Monkey Jun 2013 OP
flamingdem Jun 2013 #1
longship Jun 2013 #2
pinboy3niner Jun 2013 #4
nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #5
flamingdem Jun 2013 #6
nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #8
longship Jun 2013 #9
nadinbrzezinski Jun 2013 #10
DCBob Jun 2013 #3
99th_Monkey Jun 2013 #7

Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:11 PM

1. Interesting because the Ecuadoran embassy is also 20 miles out

That's where I think he's hiding. Putin knows he's there naturally. I can't see Sarah Hastings and others putting up with the control implied by that hotel. He got there with another fake - diplomatic immunity.

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:34 PM

2. I have seen that speculated.

But leaving the transit area would require some help, which Ecuador has publically denied giving.

As far as we all know, he's still in the transit area. But that too is limited and as the OP says, there's reporters everywhere looking for him. At minimum, he's disguised himself. I would opt for Groucho Glasses. Surely they're available in some souvenir shop.


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Response to longship (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:41 PM

4. They'll never spot him in his clever disguise

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:46 PM

5. Snort...

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Response to longship (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:47 PM

6. Perfect, that deserves a photoshop job

I don't remember reading that Ecuador denied picking up Snowden. A reporter said a diplomatic car with Ecuadoran or Venezuelan plates picked up two people from the airport before others were let out.

But who knows. Wikileaks knows but they don't want to leak it!

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Response to longship (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:49 PM

8. The problem is that those who speculate have no clue of international law

For Snowden to take refuge in insert embassy due jour here, he would have to enter formally the Russian Federation. Driving a diplomatic car into the Tarmac and letting him use a personnel stairway means entering Russia before boarding the vehicle. And there is no way to drive the vehicle into the transit zone.

Yes, it is fiction that these zones are no man's land, but all countries maintain them

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:59 PM

9. That's what I am thinking, too.

Unless he's gotten help from the Russians (also denied) he's still in that transit zone. Apparently it is not a small area. But there was a report from a reporter who deliberately booked a 21 hour layover at that airport so he could hang out in the transit zone and look for him. It was posted here yesterday IIRC.

Man! It's gotta be Groucho glasses. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

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Response to longship (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 11:02 PM

10. A new beard, new glasses

And different clothes. Maybe a died hair.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:39 PM

3. I think he should just proclaim the Transit zone as his new home.

Maybe he can get a job monitoring their Wi-Fi network.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:49 PM

7. Well, that's kind of what Julian has done in UK

Which I'm sure wasn't exactly his first choice, but became
his circumstantial fall-back option to avoid prison.

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