TODAY   |  July 10, 2013

Edward Snowden faces complex trip out of Russia

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the NSA surveillance story, says Venezuela is likely Edward Snowden’s choice for asylum, but Snowden will not have an easy time traveling without a passport and with the possibility of being caught by U.S. police or Interpol. NBC’s Jim Maceda reports.

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>>> overnight developments in the search for the nsa leaker edward snowden . is he heading for asylum in venezuela . jim is in moscow covering this story. jim , good morning to you.

>> reporter: hey, matt. well, agrgreenwald, the journalist that broke the scandal said venezuela is the likely choice for asylum but the next move could take hours, days or even weeks. even if fugitive edward snowden chooses venezuela as his future destination his worries have just begun. how does he get from here, a sealed off floor in a moscow airport hotel without being nabbed along the way.

>> he can start by praying and begging mr. putin. those are his best options right now.

>> flight 150 to havana would be the easiest way but it's risky. flying through u.s. and european airways. easy prey for law enforcement . it maybe safer but 15,000 miles long. across the pacific. doable only in a very large plane. no wonder snowden is still mulling over other countries, bolivia, iceland. where ever he goes there's still the problem of travel documents. his u.s. passport cancelled and even if he makes it to venezuela or other south american havens there's the extradition issue. all of these countries have treaties with the u.s. another mine field .

>> the odds are probably stacked against him getting to south america . he can do it but it's a long shot.

>> reporter: snowden 's applied to 27 countries for asylum. no response yet from half of them.

>> i suspect from his perspective it's not worth pursuing these options until he know what is the end game is.

>> reporter: a game with so much at stake and time running out. meanwhile, nbc news producer mary murray learned that venezuela apparently sent a plane already from the private airstrip to here in russia with venezuelan security on board. things do seem to be heating up.

>> moving perhaps. jim , thank you.