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Norway police investigating disappearance of WikiLeaks consultant

Pamphlets have been distributed in Norway in hopes that Arjen Kamohuis, a missing veteran cyber security expert, may be identified.

Norwegian police have opened an investigation into the disappearance of Arjen Kamphuis, a cyber security expert and associate to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who has reportedly been missing for two weeks.

The internet transparency website WikiLeaks had announced in a tweet on Saturday that Kamphuis went missing on August 20, with no news of him ever since, describing the disappearance as “strange.”

It said the veteran cyber security expert had booked a flight from the Norwegian city of Trondheim to Amsterdam on August 22, a flight he has missed. He was last reported to be in the city of Bodo, a Norwegian city that is some 700km away from Trondheim.

Norwegian police said on Sunday that they “have started an investigation” into Kamphuis’s disappearance, and that they had “no clue” so far where the Dutch citizen was.

Police spokesman Tommy Bech told AFP that the police “would not speculate about what may have happened to him.”

Ancilla Leest, an affiliated cyber security expert, expressed concerns over the case, speculating that Kamphuis has disappeared either in Bodo, Trondheim or while en route between the cities.

Kamphuis -- known for his cyber security and internet freedom activities -- has co-authored a free-to-use handbook named “Information Security for Journalists,” which serves as a guide to media professionals and journalists on countering government spying on their activities.

A website has been set up to collect data on the missing person. It says, “He is 47 years old, 1.78 meters tall and has a normal posture. He was usually dressed in black and carrying his black backpack. He is an avid hiker.”

Norwegian papers have covered the issue, which has given rise to numerous conspiracy theories on online social media websites.

Many speculate that Kamphuis may have been targeted due to his links to Wikileaks, while others believe the mysterious disappearance could be related to Kamphuis’s cyber security activities against government-backed spying.

Assange himself has been given refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, as he feared extradition and trial in the US on charges of leaking classified American military and diplomatic documents.

Reports and concerns surfaced recently that Ecuador may soon hand the Wikileaks founder to British authorities.

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