US officials cited an increase in the incidence of mysterious illnesses afflicting some of their diplomatic and intelligence personnel.
What is Havana syndrome and what are its symptoms?
Havana syndrome is a group of vague medical symptoms that were first experienced by US State Department personnel stationed in Cuba in late 2016. At the time, those diplomats were sent to Cuba as part of the rapprochement between the two countries that began under President Barack Obama. After decades of severed diplomatic relations between them. Those developing relations were strained by the emergence of diseases on Cuban soil.
Diplomats and intelligence officials stationed around the world have experienced similar symptoms since the initial cases. Affected people report a range of conditions including dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, cognitive difficulties and memory loss of varying severity. In some cases, diplomats and intelligence officers have left active service due to the complexities of the situation.
Where do Americans get Havana Syndrome?
The first cases were reported in late 2016 between American and Canadian personnel stationed in Cuba. The State Department also reported probable cases in China in 2018, after State Department employees and their families were evacuated from the city of Guangzhou. Diplomats and intelligence personnel in Russia, Poland, Georgia and Taiwan have also reportedly been affected.
In late September, Businesshala reported that the Central Intelligence Agency had recently fired an intelligence officer serving in Serbia who had suffered serious injuries due to Havana syndrome, which US officials described as frequent attacks of such attacks. Latest explained in detail.
A US official said that when CIA Director William Burns traveled to India in September, a member of his team reported symptoms consistent with Havana syndrome and sought medical help. A month earlier, Vice President Kamala Harris temporarily delayed her arrival in Vietnam after the State Department made her office aware of a “potentially anomalous health incident” in Hanoi.
In July, the State Department and the Austrian government said they were investigating possible cases in Vienna that had emerged in previous months. The CIA taps a veteran of the hunting for Osama bin Laden to lead its own task force investigating the case. Several US officials stationed in Washington could be affected, including one reportedly killed near the White House.
What are the major theories as to what causes the syndrome?
Initially, investigators believed the syndrome was the result of a sonic or acoustic weapon attack. However, a comprehensive analysis by a US scientific panel in December theorized that exposure to one type of directed energy was most likely. The panel—worked by the State Department and conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine—identified “guided, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy” as the most likely cause of symptoms. A separate medical evaluation in 2018 similarly concluded that exposure to microwaves, a type of radio frequency energy, was the most likely culprit for the syndrome. An examination of the brains of 40 people affected by the syndrome by the University of Pennsylvania found some evidence of brain damage.
Directed energy has been tested as a weapon by many countries, but it has other potential applications. The New Yorker told in May that a working theory by investigators is that a foreign intelligence agency—possibly Russia’s GRU Military Intelligence Service—was targeting microwave devices for the purpose of collecting data from US officials’ computers and cellphones.
US intelligence agencies have not determined how or by whom the attacks are being carried out, a senior CIA official said: “We have developed interesting clues, but nothing that leads us to any firm conclusions.” can.”
What has been the response of the US government?
Former President Donald Trump publicly blamed Cuba for the initial wave of incidents, a charge Havana denied. The emergence of the latter cases around the world has brought renewed attention within the US government to the issue. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines is overseeing a panel of intelligence analysts and outside scientific experts tasked with determining the mechanisms used in the attack. The panel’s work is expected to be finished by this fall. The bipartisan leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee has also said it plans to investigate the matter and devote resources to protecting the victims.
On October 8, President Biden signed the Helping American Victims of Neurological Attack (Havana) Act, which authorizes additional medical and financial assistance for intelligence officers and diplomats affected by the syndrome.
Byron Tau [email protected] . Feather