WASHINGTON — As Edward Snowden was preparing to leave Geneva and a job as a CIA technician in 2009, his supervisor wrote a derogatory report in his personnel file, noting a distinct change in the young man's behavior and work habits, as well as a troubling suspicion.
The CIA suspected Snowden was trying to break into classified computer files he was not authorized to have access to and decided to send him home, according to two senior U.S. officials, the New York Times reported.
The red flags went unheeded. Snowden left the CIA to become a contractor for the National Security Agency, and four years later leaked thousands of classified documents. The cautionary note and suspicions apparently were not forwarded to the NSA and surfaced only after investigators began scrutinizing Snowden's record once the documents began spilling out, intelligence and law enforcement officials said.
"It slipped through the cracks," one veteran law enforcement official said, the Times reported.
Snowden, 30, now lives in Moscow, where he surfaced this week for the first time since receiving temporary asylum in the summer. He met Wednesday with four U.S. whistleblowers who presented him with an award they said is given annually for "integrity in intelligence."