Norwegian police have opened an investigation into the disappearance of Arjen Kamphuis, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's associate, who was last seen in the northern Norwegian town of Bodo on August 20.
The investigators don't know the whereabouts of Kamphuis, police spokesman Tommy Bech said, as cited by AFP. He refused to speculate on what may have happened to the missing Dutchman.
This comes after a woman, who claims to be the cybersecurity expert's best friend, tweeted about his disappearance on Friday. According to her, he checked out of a hotel in Bodo and hasn't been heard from since.
My best friend has gone missing in Bodø, Norway. Friends, colleagues and family are very, very worried. Please share <3 #FindArjen #Bodø #Norway #MissingPerson #ArjenKamphuis pic.twitter.com/fZpqOW3TRP— Ancilla (@ncilla) 31 августа 2018 г.
She added that he was to fly to Amsterdam from Trondheim, a city located over 700 kilometers south of Bodo.
We are seriously considering Arjen Kamphuis was planning/took a train from Bodø to Trondheim. He checked out of a Bodø hotel on 20th of August and planned to fly from Trondheim to Ams on Aug 22nd. #FindArjen #Bodø #Trondheim #MissingPerson— Ancilla (@ncilla) 1 сентября 2018 г.
"The train between the two takes around 10 hours," WikiLeaks tweeted, suggesting that Kamphuis disappeared either in Bodo, Trondheim or on the train.
Update on the strange disappearance of @ArjenKamphuis. Arjen left his hotel in Bodø on August 20. He had a ticket flying out of Trondheim on August 22. The train between the two takes ~10 hours, suggesting that he disappeared in within hours in Bodø, Trondheim or on the train. https://t.co/t4OTJZGBeT— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) 2 сентября 2018 г.
Arjen Kamphuis, 47, is a cybersecurity expert who has authored "Information Security for Journalists," a handbook that contains tips for journalists on how to keep their work safe from spying. His mysterious disappearance has fueled conspiracy theories online, leading some people to suggest that it had something to do with his ties to WikiLeaks.
Julian Assange, the Australian-born journalist who founded WikiLeaks, has spent six years in self-imposed exile in Ecuador's embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he dismissed as politically motivated. He faced the claims shortly after his project had disclosed massive amounts of classified and sensitive documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These information dumps have provoked a Washington investigation into WikiLeaks and Assange personally, with the US seeking to prosecute the journalist under the Espionage Act.
Ecuadorian authorities are currently in talks with Assange's lawyers to work out a deal that would ensure his security. This comes after Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno insisted, in July, that Assange should leave the embassy.