Tue Jun 11, 2013 AT 11:54 AM EDT
Edward Snowden, the contractor at the National Security Agency who leaked details of top-secret U.S. surveillance programs, dropped out of sight in Hong Kong on Monday ahead of a likely push by the U.S. government to have him sent back to the United States to face charges, Reuters is reporting. In choosing Hong Kong as an initial place to take refuge from the U.S. government, Snowden selected a jurisdiction where it may be possible to delay extradition but not avoid it, legal and law enforcement experts told The New York Times. During an interview with the Guardian on Sunday, Snowden indicated that he would try to seek political asylum in Iceland. But, Icelandic ambassador to Beijing, Kristín Árnadóttir, told the South China Morning Post that Snowden needs to be in Iceland in order to apply for asylum.