The plot to kidnap Julian Assange

Assuming we can actually believe this, there was an attempted break-in at the Ecuadorian embassy in London a couple of weeks ago which marked an attempt to kidnap Julian Assange from his flat there. If this sounds like something out of a bad Netflix film to you, you’re probably not alone. The more you read into the details, the stranger it sounds, though there’s no word on whether or not Assange’s cat was involved in saving him from the intruders. Here are the few details we’re getting thus far from the Daily Mail.

Julian Assange foiled a break-in at his flat in the Ecuadorian Embassy, his legal team has claimed.

The WikiLeaks founder was woken up in the middle of the night after an alleged intruder attempted to enter a window at the front of the embassy building.

However the opening of the window knocked over a fire hydrant that Mr Assange had set up as a ‘booby trap’, his lawyers have said.

Scaffolding was later erected against the embassy building in Knightsbridge, west London, which representatives said ‘obscures the embassy’s security cameras’.

While it can’t be ruled out entirely, there are a few glaring elements to this story that raise questions. First of all, were the local police called? They don’t technically have jurisdiction at the embassy but are available to help. No comment from them. The Ecuadorian government isn’t commenting either. If somebody tried to break into their embassy – no matter the reason – don’t you suppose they’d be a bit upset about that? And the fact that Assange’s representatives immediately blamed it on the lack of security for him under his new rules of occupancy (a claim they’ve been yelling about for weeks) makes it look like a stunt.

But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt here for a moment. Let’s just say somebody tried to kidnap him. Who would that be? Not Ecuador, because they already have him and, in fact, have been trying to figure out ways to get rid of him. But if they wanted him out that badly, why go through all the risk and drama of sending kidnappers? Just put him out on the street with his bags. Problem solved.

The Brits? Unlikely. They want him only on very minor charges at this point and wouldn’t risk a diplomatic explosion with Ecuador by breaking into their embassy. The Russians might not mind having him, but things are a little hot for them in England at the moment and I can’t see them trying. Poisoning maybe, but not kidnapping.

Could it have been… us? There’s an admitted appetite in some corners of American politics to drag Assange back to the United States for questioning. But seriously, guys. Even in the fantasy land where we’d actually try to kidnap him rather than going through normal extradition efforts, who would we send in to do it? It would have to be some top level, dark money agents. And if so, do you really think they would be thwarted by an alarm system as diabolical as “a fire extinguisher propped up against a window?”

While it can’t be proven, this story sounds like a BS publicity stunt to me. But if anyone manages to kidnap the cat I’d be willing to help find a home for it.