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Tag: ecuador

WikiLeaks Faces Extradition to U.S. in What Could Become Major Break in Mueller Case

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be extradited to the U.S. from an Ecuadoran embassy in London in what could become a major victory for special counsel Robert Mueller.

Assange said Monday that Ecuador could soon end his six-year asylum, Reuters reports

Assange, known for releasing sensitive documents through WikiLeaks, could be a big witness in Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia’s interference during the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller has struck plea deals with others tied to Trump in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors.

Assange likely knows more than anyone whether the Trump campaign was involved with leaking hacked emails that hurt Hillary Clinton during the election.

Longtime Trump supporter Roger Stone originally claimed he was in contact with Assange, but he has since walked back those statements.

Ecuador Delivers Blow to Snowden’s Chances of Gaining Asylum There

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Edward Snowden, the leaker of sweeping U.S. surveillance, is running out of options as he waits in legal limbo at a Russian airport.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said Monday his country is not considering Snowden’s asylum request and never meant to get involved, the Guardian reports.

That means Snowden’s fate rests largely in the hands of Moscow officials, who have tried to distance themselves from the case since the former NSA contractor landed at a Russian airport from Hong Kong. 

“Are we responsible for getting him to Ecuador? It’s not logical,” Correa told the Guardian. “The country that has to give him a safe conduct document is Russia.”

Moscow confirmed Monday that Snowden had applied for asylum in Russia, among other countries, but officials there have expressed hesitance about getting involved.

Authorities in Awe of Drug Runners’ Jungle-Built, Kevlar-Coated Super Subs


By Jim Popkin
WIRED

The clatter of helicopter blades echoed across the jungles of northwestern Ecuador. Antinarcotics commandos in three choppers peered at the mangroves below, scanning for any sign of activity. The police had received a tip that a gang of Colombian drug smugglers had set up a clandestine work site here, in a dense swamp 5 miles south of Colombia’s border. And whatever the traffickers were building, the tipster had warned, was truly enormous.

For decades, Colombian drug runners have pursued their trade with diabolical ingenuity, staying a step ahead of authorities by coming up with one innovation after another. When false-paneled pickups and tractor-trailers began drawing suspicion at US checkpoints, the cartels and their Mexican partners built air-conditioned tunnels under the border. When border agents started rounding up too many human mules, one group of Colombian smugglers surgically implanted heroin into purebred puppies. But the drug runners’ most persistently effective method has also been one of the crudest—semisubmersible vessels that cruise or are towed just below the ocean’s surface and can hold a ton or more of cocaine.

Assembled in secret shipyards along the Pacific coast, they’ve been dubbed drug subs by the press, but they’re incapable of diving or maneuvering like real submarines. In fact, they’re often just cigarette boats encased in wood and fiberglass that are scuttled after a single mission. Yet despite their limitations, these semisubmersibles are notoriously difficult to track. US and Colombian officials estimate that the cartels have used them to ship hundreds of tons of cocaine from Colombia over the past five years alone.

But several years ago, intelligence agencies began hearing that the cartels had made a technological breakthrough: They were constructing some kind of supersub in the jungle.

To read full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

DEA and Ecuador Capture Drug Trafficking Submarine

ecuador mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Planes and boats aren’t the only way to transport drugs across water.

The DEA said Saturday it helped Ecuadorian officials seize a submarine that could have transported tons of cocaine, the Associated Press reported. It was seized near a tributary close to the Ecuador-Colombia border before it could make its maiden voyage.

AP reported that the sub had a diesel electric-powered engine, air conditioning, periscope and was constructed in a remote jungle area.