WikiLeaks consultant Arjen Kamphuis has disappeared after last being seen checking out of a hotel in the Norwegian town of Bodø on August 20, according to reports.
Kamphuis, a cybersecurity expert, was scheduled to fly out of Trondheim, a town located 435 miles south of Bodo, but appears to have never boarded his plane. “Arjen left his hotel in Bodø on August 20. He had a ticket flying out of Trondheim on August 22. The train between the two takes ~10 hours, suggesting that he disappeared in within hours in Bodø, Trondheim or on the train,” WikiLeaks tweeted over the weekend.
Update on the strange disappearance of @ArjenKamphuis. Arjen left his hotel in Bodø on August 20. He had a ticket flying out of Trondheim on August 22. The train between the two takes ~10 hours, suggesting that he disappeared in within hours in Bodø, Trondheim or on the train. https://t.co/t4OTJZGBeT
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 2, 2018
According to a missing person website dedicated to Kamphuis, the 47-year-old is around 5’8″ tall and “usually dressed in black and carrying his black backpack.” Unconfirmed reports say Kamphuis has been spotted in Ribe, Denmark, and Alesund, Norway.
My best friend has gone missing in Bodø, Norway. Friends, colleagues and family are very, very worried. Please share <3 #FindArjen #Bodø #Norway #MissingPerson #ArjenKamphuis pic.twitter.com/fZpqOW3TRP
— Ancilla (@ncilla) August 31, 2018
On Sunday, Norwegian police began investigating the WikiLeaks consultant’s disappearance and told reporters they had “no clue,” about Kamphuis’ whereabouts. Police spokesperson Tommy Bech said investigators “would not speculate about what may have happened,” to the Dutch national. “The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was aware of his disappearance after Kamphuis’ friend and privacy activist Ancilla van de Leest tweeted about his disappearance,” Deutsche Welle reports.
Kamphuis’ alleged disappears comes amid a whirlwind of speculation regarding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s possible eviction from Ecuador’s London embassy. British and Ecuadoran officials are said to be holding “high-level talks to decide the fate of the Australian hacker, who has been residing in the London embassy since seeking asylum for over six years.
Times UK reported:
Ministers and senior Foreign Office officials are locked in discussions over the fate of Assange, the founder and editor of WikiLeaks, who claimed political asylum from Ecuador in 2012 and who believes he will be extradited to the United States if he leaves the embassy in Knightsbridge, central London.
Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Office minister, is understood to be involved in the diplomatic effort, which comes weeks before a visit to the UK by Lenin Moreno, the new Ecuadorean president, who has called Assange a “hacker”, an “inherited problem” and a “stone in the shoe”.
In March, the Ecuadorian government cut off Assange’s internet assess and visitation privileges, which officials say the crackdown was in response to the WikiLeaks founder reneging on “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states.” Ecuador further alleged the social media habits of the WikiLeaks founder “put at risk the good relations [Ecuador] maintains with the United Kingdom, with the other states of the European Union, and with other nations.”
— Comunicación Ecuador (@ComunicacionEc) March 28, 2018
In early August, Senate Intelligence Committee reportedly requested Assange to appear before lawmakers as part of its investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election. “As you are aware, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is conducting a bipartisan inquiry into Russia interference in the 2016 U.S. election,” reads the letter signed by Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA). “As part of that inquiry, the Committee requests that you make yourself available for a closed door interview with bipartisan Committee staff at a mutually agreeable time and location”:
BREAKING: US Senate Intelligence Committee calls editor @JulianAssange to testify. Letter delivered via US embassy in London. WikiLeaks' legal team say they are "considering the offer but testimony must conform to a high ethical standard". Also: https://t.co/pPf0GTjTlp pic.twitter.com/TrDKkCKVBx
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 8, 2018
Jennifer Robinson, an attorney for Assange, said in a statement that the WikiLeaks founder “seriously considering” appearing before the committee if his security concerns could be met. “The US Senate Select Committee request confirms their interest in hearing from Mr Assange,” Robinson wrote. “The inquiry has asked for him to appear in person at a mutually agreeable time and place.
“We are seriously considering the offer but must ensure Mr Assange’s protection is guaranteed,” she added.