By Jeremy Herb - 07/05/13 05:04 PM EDT
Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in six additional countries, according to WikiLeaks, the group that is helping the National Security Agency leaker.
WikiLeaks tweeted on Friday that Snowden had applied for asylum in another six countries. Earlier this week, WikiLeaks said Snowden had applied for asylum in 21 countries.
His options for leaving the transit zone in a Moscow airport, where he has allegedly been stuck since traveling to Russia from Hong Kong last month, have quickly dwindled, as most countries either rejected the asylum request or said Snowden would have to be on their soil to make the request.
WikiLeaks said it would not name the new countries where Snowden requested asylum “due to attempted U.S. interference.”
On Tuesday, the plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to land in Austria and was searched. The 12-hour delay followed rumors that the plane might be carrying Snowden. Morales was traveling back to Bolivia from Moscow, and Bolivia was viewed as one of the countries that might be willing to grant Snowden’s asylum request.
The Bolivian foreign minister said that Portugal and France would not allow the aircraft to enter their airspace, though France denied this.
On Wednesday, Bolivia’s foreign ministry condemned a U.S. request to extradite Snowden, saying Morales and Snowden never met in Russia. Bolivian officials said the “strange, illegal, unfounded and suggestive” extradition request would be returned to the U.S. immediately.
The U.S. has charged Snowden with espionage and is seeking to prosecute him. It filed an extradition request with Hong Kong, but Hong Kong officials said it was not complete, and allowed Snowden to leave the country.