WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fears he will be sent to the United States, where he could face the death penalty, and even worries that he will be targeted by a CIA drone. Assange, who faces extradition to Sweden on rape charges and has been holed up at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, said in an interview with The Times Magazine that things have become so dangerous that he cannot even poke his head out of the embassy’s balcony doors.
“There are security issues with being on the balcony; there have been bomb threats and assassination threats from various people,” he said during the interview.
Assange did, however, appear on the balcony of the embassy building with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the American civil rights activist, who visited Assange for more than an hour during a stop in London on August 21.
“There are security issues with being on the balcony; there have been bomb threats and assassination threats from various people.”
– Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder
Assange, 44, who hails from Australia, faces rape allegations in Sweden, although Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into lesser sexual assault allegations after failing to question Assange within the 5-year statute of limitations period.
Assange says he believes the situation will be resolved in the next two years, but has refused to travel to Sweden, saying he fears it would lead to him being extradited to the United States because of an investigation into WikiLeaks’ dissemination of hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents.
Assange published the classified U.S. information that he received from NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the former NSA contract systems analyst who is living in Russia on a temporary grant of asylum after leaking a massive volume of government documents.
He said Snowden is in Russia on Assange’s advice; Assange said: “He preferred Latin America, but my advice was that he should take asylum in Russia despite the negative PR consequences, because my assessment is that he had a significant risk he could be kidnapped from Latin America on CIA orders.
“Kidnapped or possibly killed.”
On the possibility of being “droned” by the CIA, Assange told the magazine: “I’m a white guy. Unless I convert to Islam, it’s not that likely that I’ll be droned, but we have seen things creeping toward that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.