According to a New York Times report, a cybersecurity expert tied to WikiLeaks has disappeared without a trace on August 20, last seen in a remote northern Norwegian town near the Arctic Circle.
“The disappearance of Arjen Kamphuis, 46, has so far flummoxed a widening police investigation that has chased stray clues and false leads in Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden,” the report said.
According to the report, Norwegian police do not know if Kamphuis was a victim of foul play, and they are investigating all possible angles.
“The uncertainty, and Mr. Kamphuis’s links to WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization that has run afoul of governments and other powerful interests, has the internet buzzing with conspiracy theories,” according to the report. “Some suggest a kidnapping — or worse — involving Russia, the C.I.A., MI6, Islamists or the Clintons, while others ask if he intended to disappear, possibly on some secret assignment for WikiLeaks.”
Kamphius, described as an avid hiker and “associate” of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, is a Dutch national and was expected to return to The Netherlands after his trip to Norway.
The report said that some are speculating that he may be in Bodo, the last town in which he was seen, which is home to Norway’s largest military base and cyber-defense center.
“Partial breakthroughs have only added to the mystery,” according to the report. “The police revealed that 10 days after Mr. Kamphuis had disappeared in the High North, someone tried to use his cellphone near the village of Vikesa, 650 miles south of Bodo, attempting to activate a German SIM card.”
The investigation is now multi-national, spanning across several European nations.
“The search has grown into a cross-border hunt for a man who specializes in evading detection. The Norwegian National Criminal Investigation Service, Kripos, has assigned investigators in Oslo to the case, and on Tuesday, it sent four officers to Bodo.”
Follow Peter D’Abrosca on Twitter: @pdabrosca
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