A member of CIA Director Bill Burns’ team was reportedly attacked during a recent trip to India in what officials believe is another case of “Havana Syndrome,” a set of often serious neurological symptoms that experts believe is the result of “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy.”
“The incident set off alarm bells within the US government and left Burns ‘fuming’ with anger, one source explained,” CNN reported. “Some officials at the CIA viewed the chilling episode as a direct message to Burns that no one is safe, including those working directly for the nation’s top spy, two sources said.”
This is the second event in the last 30 days where U.S. officials have reported the mysterious sickness during high-profile international travel events.
Reuters reported last month:
Vice President Kamala Harris pushed ahead with a trip to Vietnam on Tuesday after delaying the visit over concerns due to a health incident potentially related to the mysterious Havana syndrome. Harris arrived in the Southeast Asian country’s capital after a three-hour delay in Singapore that the U.S. government blamed on reports that someone in Hanoi may have been targeted by the Havana syndrome, a condition of unknown origin with symptoms including dizziness, nausea, migraines and memory lapses.
The incident upstaged a bid by President Joe Biden’s top deputy to woo the allies Washington hopes will help it challenge China’s assertive foreign policy in the region. Beijing, meanwhile, attempted to stage its own diplomatic coup with a surprise meeting in Vietnam and a donation of 2 million COVID-19 vaccines to the country.
The attacks are believed to have started during the Obama administration and have targeted approximately 100 CIA officers and roughly 200 other U.S. officials and kin.
“The situation in India could have dramatic implications: the CIA director’s schedule is tightly held and there are deep concerns among U.S. officials about how the perpetrator would have known about the visit and been able to plan for such an aggression,” CNN reported. “There are also other ongoing investigations by the US intelligence community focused on the question of the perpetrator behind the incidents, which the US government calls anomalous health incidents or AHIs, and what the U.S. can do to defend against these incidents.”
The CIA’s investigation into who is behind the attacks, which officials believe is most likely a secret Russian military unit, is taking top priority.
“We’ve strengthened efforts to determine the origins of the incidents, including assembling a team of our very best experts — bringing an intensity and expertise to this issue akin to our efforts to find bin Laden,” a CIA spokesperson said. “The senior officer who leads the team spent more than a decade on counterterrorism issues and was a driving force in CIA’s analytic and targeting work that led us to find bin Laden.”
In 2018, The New Yorker highlighted a suspected attack in Cuba using what officials believe is a microwave pulse weapon:
On the evening of March 17th, [Audrey Lee, a career Foreign Service officer in her late forties] came home from the Embassy, made dinner, and ate with the twins in the kitchen nook. Her husband was away on business. Afterward, the kids went upstairs to play Minecraft. At around eight o’clock, Lee washed the dishes. The kitchen lights made it hard to see out the window, but she knew that there was a wooden booth outside where Cuban police kept watch. As Lee was cleaning, she felt a sudden burst of pressure in her head, then a stabbing pain worse than any she had ever experienced. Her breath quickened and she was overcome by panic. Lee had heard rumors around the Embassy of colleagues falling victim to mysterious “sonic attacks,” but no one knew what they were or what had caused them.
As the pain grew more intense, she remembered overhearing a security officer at the Embassy talking about how employees could protect themselves. “Get off the X,” he had said, which Lee took to mean move away from the site where she experienced the pain. She made her way to the family room and took a few minutes to steady herself. After checking on the twins, she went to her bedroom to lie down, but the pain kept her from sleeping.
The next morning, Lee’s head still hurt. At breakfast, her son asked her to read the ingredients on a box of cereal, and she struggled, moving the box back and forth as she tried to focus. In the coming weeks, she often felt dizzy and lost her balance, and sometimes walked into doors. She felt as if she were moving even when she was still, a sensation that she compared to walking after taking off roller skates. She was sleeping just an hour or two a night. Co-workers noticed that she was becoming forgetful.
Earlier this year, The Daily Wire reported that approximately two dozen U.S. intelligence officials in Vienna have reported symptoms of an illness that is consistent with Havana Syndrome during Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration.
Havana Syndrome was first reported in Havana, Cuba, several years ago when U.S. officials began reporting a unique set of symptoms including instant intense headaches, loss of balance, and numerous hearing issues. In some cases, the neurological damage lasted years or was permanent and forced those who were attacked to retire. U.S. officials have reportedly been attacked on U.S. soil over the last two years, including attacks near the White House.
“The incidents have allegedly occurred all over the world, including in Europe, Miami, northern Virginia and near the White House,” Politico reported in May. “The GRU’s [a secret Russian military unit] inclusion as a suspect in the investigation, which has not been previously reported, comes as Biden administration officials are working to reassure outraged lawmakers that they are committed to getting to the bottom of the issue and holding those responsible to account.”
While U.S. officials reportedly do not yet have smoking gun proof, they pointed to several factors that they say makes the Russia’s GRU, a secret Russian military unit, the prime suspect. The GRU has a known presence in all of the areas where U.S. officials have gotten sick, it’s the only Russian agency with the technology capable of the attacks, and Russia has stated in the past that it sought to pursue “irregular warfare” against the U.S. because it cannot compete at the same-level as the U.S. on the battlefield.