Arjen Kamphius, a Dutch citizen who served as WikiLeaks’ cyber security expert — a crucial role for the under-fire whistleblowing organization — has gone missing in Norway, according to police. Kamphius becomes the latest WikiLeaks operative to go missing or die in suspicious circumstances in recent months. 

Kamphuis, a cyber security expert and co-author of a handbook for investigative journalists on how to keep themselves and their work safe from government spying, has been missing since August 20th, when he checked out of a hotel in the town of Bodø in northern Norway.

In and of itself, this wouldn’t be such big news. However, the strange circumstances, along with the recent deaths of other members of WikiLeaks’ inner sanctum makes the circumstances much stranger.

Versions on Twitter have ranged from a bizarre hiking incident, to a secret assignment, to a CIA hit.

Ancilla

@ncilla

My best friend has gone missing in Bodø, Norway. Friends, colleagues and family are very, very worried. Please share ❤

Ancilla

@ncilla

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.

RT report: The disappearance was first reported on Twitter by Ancilla Van De Leest, former Dutch Pirate Party frontrunner and privacy activist on Friday. She wrote that Kamphuis was going to board a train from Bodø to Trondheim, which usually takes 10 hours.

https://twitter.com/ncilla/status/1035852660132532225/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fd-7186295041244340093.ampproject.net%2F1535566825959%2Fframe.html

On August 22, Kamphuis was expected to leave Trondheim for Amsterdam. De Leest said he had already bought the plane ticket but nobody has heard from him since he left the hotel in Bodø. That means the man might have gone missing either in Bodø, in Trondheim, or somewhere in between during the train journey.

The WikiLeaks Twitter account posted an update on Kamphuis’ strange disappearance on Saturday.

WikiLeaks

@wikileaks

.@JulianAssange associate and author of “Information Security for Journalists” @ArjenKamphuis has disappeared according to friends (@ncilla) and colleagues. Last seen in Bodø, , 11 days ago on August 20.

Norwegian police on Sunday confirmed that they have opened a probe into the 47-year-old Dutchman’s disappearance, saying that at the moment they are in the dark about events that could have preceded it.

In the missing persons report disseminated on social media, Kamphuis is decribed as an “avid hiker,” which prompted some commentators to suggest that the Assange associate might have gotten lost while hiking in the mountainous terrain.

Many others have assumed foul play, considering Kamphuis’ connection to WikiLeaks.

One user has floated the idea that Kamphuis might have been put on a “classified assignment” by WikiLeaks and had to go undercover, cutting all communication with the world at large.

WikiLeaks

@wikileaks

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://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1035674447418519552 

System_On_Chip@US_Officials

Could He Be On A “Classified” Or “Undercover Assignment” ? pic.twitter.com/RY1uljuh8x

Some Wikileaks supporters have suggested the man might have been snatched or even killed in a covert CIA operation. However remote the chances of it being true, the need to even consider such an option has some people worried.

WikiLeaks

@wikileaks

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://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1035674447418519552 

Kyle Olbert 🚨@realKyleOlbert

This is incredibly disconcerting, & the possibility — however remote — that he may have been kidnapped (or worse) by the @CIA is NOT acceptable. ALL NATIONS must commit to NOT targeting authors, journalists, & professionals. It is unacceptable that this is even an issue.

“Captured or killed by agents of the five eyes alliance?” another user wondered, referring to the intelligence-sharing alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

WikiLeaks

@wikileaks

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://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1035674447418519552 

Bjornar Simonsen@BjornarF1

Captured or killed by agents of the five eyes alliance?

WikiLeaks

@wikileaks

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://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1035674447418519552 

Van Tomas@VanTomas2

I suspect dirty tricks

Some argued that Kamphuis’ disappearance was intended as a warning to Assange.

WikiLeaks

@wikileaks

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://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1035674447418519552 

Bossanova@Bossanova98

Pretty loud message to Assange…flip and you will get murdered.

Unconfirmed sightings of the missing man were reported in Ribe, Denmark, on both August 28th and 29th.

In 2014, Kamphuis co-authored ‘Information Security for Journalists.’ The handbook, which Kamphuis said would be forever free to download, provides aspiring investigative journalists and media professionals with a thorough guide on how to avoid being snooped on by the state.

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