CIA director pisses off after Havana Syndrome hits a team member in India

Enlarge / William Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), arrives for a closed hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

A US intelligence officer who traveled to India with CIA director William Burns earlier this month reported a mysterious health incident and symptoms compatible with what is known as Havana syndrome a report from CNN. The officer received immediate medical attention on his return to the United States.

The case raises fears that such incidents will not only escalate but potentially escalate, nameless officials told CNN and The New York Times. The new incident within Burns’ own team made the CIA chief “furious” with anger.

The director’s schedule is closely monitored and officials do not know if the intelligence officer concerned was targeted because the officer was traveling with the director. If the health incident was an attack by an opposing intelligence service, as was feared, it is unclear how the opposing intelligence service learned of the trip and was able to prepare an attack. However, it is also possible that the officer was attacked for other reasons and without knowing that the officer was out with the director.

A CIA spokesman just told CNN, “We don’t comment on any specific incident or officer. We have created logs when people report possible abnormal health incidents that involve appropriate medical treatment. We will continue to do everything we can to protect our officers. “

The incident is the second high profile case in less than a month. Another so-called “abnormal health incident” was reported on August 24th, affecting staff at the US Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is still unclear how many employees were affected by this incident, but NBC News reported it two US personnel were evacuated of the country.

The first report of the incident came when Vice President Kamala Harris was scheduled to fly from Singapore to Hanoi as part of a planned week-long visit. News of the incident held Harris on board Air Force Two at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore for more than three hours until officials determined it was safe to proceed.

At the time, a US Embassy spokeswoman Rachael Chen confirmed in a statement that “the Vice President’s travel delegation was delayed from leaving Singapore because the Vice President’s Office was made aware of a report of a recent possible abnormal health incident.” . in Hanoi, Vietnam. After careful consideration, it was decided to continue the Vice President’s journey. “

Cases and questions

According to CNN, there are now more than 300 possible cases among US personnel from around the world and go back years.

The incidents were first brought to light in late 2016 among U.S. and Canadian diplomats and their families in Havana, Cuba, giving the cases their current nickname, Havana Syndrome. A number of similar cases later became widespread among US officials working at a US consulate in Guangzhou, China. Since then, cases have been reported elsewhere in Asia, Europe, Russia, and even some in the US. At least two U.S. officials have reported incidents in the Washington DC area in recent years, including one near the White House compound.

Although the Biden government has stepped up its efforts to investigate the incidents and provide medical care and assistance, much of the cases remain a mystery. It has not yet been conclusively clarified whether the incidents were even deliberate attacks.

In general, the incidents are directional sounds and / or sensations that cause dizziness, nausea, headache, ringing in the ears, balance problems, and / or other symptoms that are largely consistent with mild traumatic brain injury or concussion. Extensive medical examinations of some of the US workers affected in Havana concluded that they had suffered “an injury to widespread brain networks with no associated history of head trauma.” U.S. employees experiencing such incidents are advised to leave the area in which they are located immediately.

But who and / or what caused the incidents and injuries are still weighty unknowns. Medical and scientific experts speculate that the cause could be anything from exposure to pesticides to faulty monitoring equipment, a collective delusion (mass psychogenic sickness), or even simply the irritating noises of sharp crickets.

A leading hypothesis, however, remains that the incidents were, in fact, attacks carried out by Russian activists using a covert microwave oven. A panel of experts from the National Academy of Sciences concluded last year that directional pulsed radio frequency energy was the “most plausible” cause of the incidents and injuries. Russian scientists have a long history of studying related technologies and their effects on humans. Russian authorities have reportedly refuses any participation in the incidents.