U.S. officials have confirmed the authenticity of a video showing the beheading of the American journalist.
The National Security Agency has asked the Justice Department to begin a criminal investigation of 29-year-old Edward Snowden.
Snowden has come forward as the person who leaked documents about the extensive surveillance of domestic communications the NSA conducts as it hunts down terrorists.
Snowden is currently seeking asylum in Hong Kong. He was a high school dropout and soldier before he became an intelligence analyst for the NSA.
The Guardian newspaper in Britain was the first to report Snowden’s identity.
Wall Street Journal (opinion) “Real damage was done last week by Edward Snowden, who on Sunday claimed credit for leaking the secrets he learned while working for NSA contractors. Every time we tell terrorists how we can detect them, we encourage them to find ways to avoid detection.”
New York Times “Then the United States must set up a strategy for prosecuting a man whom many will see as a hero for provoking a debate that President Obama himself has said he welcomes — amid already fierce criticism of the administration’s crackdown on leaks.”