Bin Laden CIA Officer Hunted to Lead Havana Syndrome

Bin Laden CIA Officer Hunted to Lead Havana SyndromeInvestigate as the number of cases increases

Bin Laden CIA Officer Hunted to Lead Havana SyndromeEnlarge / Picture of the US embassy in Havana, taken on October 3, 2017.
Getty | YAMIL LAGE

According to Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal report, an undercover Central Intelligence Agency Officer who assisted in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden will lead the task force of the agency charged with investigating mysterious health issues that continue to affect US personnel.

These bizarre sensory and sonic experiences, which were first discovered in 2016, are common among US diplomats stationed at Havana. They can often be described as directional. Affected diplomats may experience headaches, nosebleeds and ringing in their ears (tinnitus), difficulty remembering words and focusing, speech difficulties, hearing loss and permanent hearing impairment. Some cases were examined by medical experts who found evidence that there was “injury of widespread brain networks” without any history of head trauma. This means that sufferers may have suffered a concussion but not a head injury.

The cause and motivation of these incidents, and the people who are behind them, remain unknown despite years of investigations and alarming reports. Cases continue to pile up despite all the investigation and warnings. The news of the appointment of the task force chief follows a report by NBC News that suggests the current case count could be 200. The incidents are often linked to Cuba, and the condition is sometimes called “Havana Syndrome”. However, they have been reported on every continent other than Antarctica.

The New Yorker reported last week that there had been approximately two dozen reported cases from Vienna in the six months since President Joe Biden assumed office. These reports came from US diplomats and intelligence officers. Vienna, if the cases are confirmed by US intelligence officers, diplomats, and other government officials, would be home to more cases than any other place, aside from Havana.

Previously, however, incidents had been reported from Guangzhou in China and other parts of Asia. Reports earlier this year claimed that at most two US officials had reported incidents in the District of Columbia. According to reports, one incident occurred in November last year, when a National Security Council official reported that he was sickened near Ellipse (the oval-shaped, southern lawn of the White House).

A striking example of this was reported in The New York Times May report. It was a case where a military officer was reporting on a car accident in an unknown Asian capital. The Times reports that the officer was:

According to the four officials who were briefed, his car pulled into an intersection. He then became nauseated and had headaches. The 2-year-old boy in his backseat began to cry. The officer stopped him from causing nausea and the child stopped crying after he was gone.

The government provided medical care, but it’s not known if they experienced long-term or permanent debilitating effects.

Possible reasons

Intelligence officials continue to believe that these incidents may be Russian-operated attacks and could involve some type of microwave-energy covert device.

A panel of scientists assembled by the National Academies of Sciences found that directed pulsed radiofrequency energies was the most plausible explanation for the diplomats’ symptoms and experiences. Although some scientists remain skeptical about the theory, experts and doctors who examined the cases have concluded that they are able to rule out any other possible explanations, such as a mass psychogenic disease (MPI), chemical agents and infectious diseases.

The Russians behind the attack is also a conjecture. According to intelligence officials, they possess geolocation data which indicates that Russian operatives may have been in the vicinity at some points during the attacks. Russian operatives have been known to track US operatives and the mere fact that they are present does not necessarily prove their involvement. According to the New Yorker, recent incidents in Vienna could also be a sign of Russia. According to the article, it was a “den full of spy” as well as “a hub for Russian and US espionage”. The experts from the National Academies of Sciences also noted the existence of significant research in Russia about pulsed radiofrequency energies’ effects on humans.

Unconclusive

Although nothing proves conclusive, NBC News discovered that the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service had “helped to develop and deploy small-sized physical detection devices in Cuba” and “a few other posts” aimed for detecting pulsed microwaves. The outlet was contacted by three people who knew about the devices, though they refused to give further details, stating that the information was classified.

The Biden administration stated that it will intensify its efforts to prevent and understand the incident. According to The Wall Street Journal, the new head of the CIA’s taskforce is reportedly a former member of the Counterterrorism Center who has worked more than a decade in intelligence analysis and targeted attacks. According to The Wall Street Journal, other members of the task force include intelligence analysts, clandestine personnel who gather human intelligence, clinicians and human resources specialists.

Publiated at Wed 21 July 2021 23.44:03 +0000

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