According to the RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, FBI agents landed in Reykjavík in August 2011 without prior notification in an attempt to investigate WikiLeaks operations within the country. However, their plan was interupted when Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson learned about the FBI’s visit and sent them packing. The Icelandic government then formally protested the FBI’s activities with U.S. authorities.
This is not the first time that the U.S. government’s hunt for WikiLeaks has involved private individuals and companies in Iceland. In the past, the U.S. has been successful in obtaining account information from Twitter on parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who now refuses to travel outside of Iceland for fear of being arrested for her connections with WikiLeaks.
According to the [report from RUV], a private plane landed at Reykjavík airport in August 2011 and onboard were FBI agents who had flown directly from the U.S. to Iceland with the mission to investigate WikiLeaks operations in the country as a part of a larger investigation into the organization. The FBI agents reportedly contacted the head of the national Icelandic police, as well as the head prosecutor in an attempt to gain access to all available information on WikiLeaks.
When Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson found out about the FBI’s visit, he met with the FBI agents, whom he told that the Icelandic government wouldn’t permit a foreign power to run their own investigations within the country. Jónasson then ordered the FBI agents to return to the U.S., and after a special meeting of the cabinet about the inicident, Foreign minister Össur Skarphéðinsson was then charged with formally protesting against the United States’ behavior.
The story of the FBI’s unannounced visit to iceland in August 2011 was revealed in an RUV report featured on January 30, 2013, by WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, who explained:
“The FBI came here with private aircraft and landed at Reykjavík Airport. According to my information, which is very reliable and I have had this confirmed, so did information on this visit to the Interior Minister Ögmundur Jónasson, who reacted sharply since it was incredibly cool to come here that way. According to my information, he requirement that these police officers packed up, boarded and left the country. This was then taken up, I know, the government and the protesters were formally against this for the U.S. government. “
(Translation provided by Google Translate from [IslandBloggen]
A video of the RUV segment can be [viewed here on RUV’s website].
Jónasson backs up the claims that FBI agents arrived in Iceland and stayed in the country for a few days. However, he said it was out of the question that a foreign power be permitted to conduct private investigations of Icelandic citizens and their activities in the country. He told the broadcast news service:
“I can confirm that this was done in August 2011. Officers from the FBI arrived here. They must answer for themselves what they intended to do. I can also confirm that they wanted to cooperate with the Attorney-General and the National Police.”