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Airport stakeout: Hunting Snowden

By Jim Boulden, CNN
updated 7:12 AM EDT, Fri June 28, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Moscow's international airport is hub of the hunt for Snowden
  • But he has not been seen for days
  • CNN's correspondent conscientiously checks the bars

Editor's note: CNN correspondent Jim Boulden joins the hunt for the NSA leaker Edward Snowden, taking over from CNN's John Defterios inside Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport where the man the NSA can't find is widely believed to be staying.

Sheremetyevo International Airport (CNN) -- My first morning at Moscow Airport's Terminal E consisted of an indescribable burger at Burger King. We are thinking of going to one of two TGI Friday's for dinner in Terminal D.

There is always Costa Coffee for tomorrow morning if I want to walk the half mile or so from my pod hotel room.

I'm on day two of my time inside Moscow's international transfer terminals. They are long, clean, stuffed with shops and not stuffed with very many people.

The person I have come to look for is Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency computer contractor who spilled details of U.S. surveillance programs to reporters.

CNN's John Defterios and his crew have been inside the transit zone of Sheremetyevo International Airport for more than 24 hours. Like Edward Snowden, he cannot step foot on Russian soil without special visa clearance. Pictured here on June 26, Defterios surveys part of his new land: Terminals D, E and F. CNN's John Defterios and his crew have been inside the transit zone of Sheremetyevo International Airport for more than 24 hours. Like Edward Snowden, he cannot step foot on Russian soil without special visa clearance. Pictured here on June 26, Defterios surveys part of his new land: Terminals D, E and F.
Inside Moscow Airport's 'no man's land'
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Inside Moscow Airport\'s \'no man\'s land\' Inside Moscow Airport's 'no man's land'
Edward Snowden joins 'The Terminal' club
Obama won't scramble jets for Snowden

President Barack Obama says he won't take extraordinary measures to track Snowden down.

He is apparently holed up in here, somewhere. He is not likely in one of the hostel-like rooms you can rent by the hour, nor is he in the bars -- I have dutifully checked them all, including the annoying one with piped bird song surrounded by 1970s rustic charm.

This is a 24-hour transit hub, so we could buy a beer at 2:30 a.m. and I could have bought luggage, vodka, chocolate and toys all night long. Snowden could too, but no one has seen him getting gifts for his next hosts, whoever they may be.

It's not the worst place to be holed up.

Our excitement Thursday was crowding around Gate 25 to see if Snowden caught the flight to Havana, Cuba.

Two dozen or so journalists, most working off iPhones or iPads pretending not to be journalists, filmed and photographed bemused Russian children and their parents looking forward to a summer holiday in the sun, while an angry Aeroflot agent told us we could not film, but did nothing to stop us.

A number of journalists now seem to have packed up and took the next stage out of town. There isn't another flight to Cuba until Saturday and why is it presumed he will take one any time soon?

So it's another night in the hourly hotel with paper-thin walls for those of us staying.

Still it's better than sleeping against a wall of Terminal E in bright lights which dozens of people did last night.

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