Two US officials stationed in Germany have been left unable to work after developing Havana Syndrome, sparking fears they were attacked with a mystery sonic weapon.
The mysterious condition was first reported in 2016 when a staffer at the US embassy in Cuba suffered headaches, hearing loss, memory issues and other symptoms.
Germany has said they are aware of reports US officials stationed in the country developed symptoms of the mystery ailment, but that they had no further details of the incident.
The mysterious condition was first reported in 2016 when a staffer at the US embassy in Cuba (pictured) suffered headaches, hearing loss, memory issues and other symptoms
People who are believed to have been affected have reported headaches, dizziness and symptoms consistent with concussions, with some requiring months of medical treatment.
Some have reported hearing a loud noise before the sudden onset of symptoms.
Similar symptoms have been reported by officials stationed in other European capitals, including Vienna in Austria last month, as well as China and Russia.
Unconfirmed cases were reported in Poland, Taiwan, Georgia, and Washington DC.
Victims included intelligence officers and diplomats working gas exports, cybersecurity, and political interference – all Russia related projects, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Scientists and government officials are not yet certain about who might have been behind any attacks, if the symptoms could have been caused inadvertently by surveillance equipment – or if the incidents were caused by a mysterious sonic weapon.
The sonic weapon the could cause Havana Syndrome is said to be a smaller version of this 1990s Soviet microwave generator, which is kept at the University of New Mexico
People who are believed to have been affected have reported headaches, dizziness and symptoms consistent with concussions, with some requiring months of medical treatment
More than 200 US officials and personnel around the world have complained of symptoms such as migraines, hearing loss and dizziness.
In June US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said a government-wide review was under way into who or what caused suspected radio frequency attacks ‘directed’ at diplomats.
Since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January, roughly two dozen intelligence officers, diplomats and other officials in Vienna have reported symptoms similar to those of Havana syndrome, making it the second-biggest hotspot after Havana.
But so far, the feeling is that the State Department has been ‘tepid’ in moving forward with the investigation.
As early as 2014, the National Security Agency (NSA) said in a memo to one intelligence officer who said he had suffered possible symptoms that an unnamed ‘hostile country’ to which the official traveled in the late 1990s had a ‘high powered microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate or kill an enemy over time and without leaving evidence.’
The memo said intelligence indicated that such a weapon was ‘designed to bathe a target’s living quarters in microwaves, causing numerous physical effects, including a damaged nervous system.’
Seven years on and the State Department’s approach still appears to be very ‘hands off’ despite Blinken promising to open an investigation and to meet with any of the State Department victims.
The suspected directed-energy attacks have baffled US investigators who are working to determine who and what is causing them since they first began in Cuba.
In May reports emerged that some US officials suspected Russia’s infamous foreign intelligence agency – the GRU – could be the culprit.
Last month former CIA officer and Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Marc Polymeropolous claimed he was zapped by one of the attacks while visiting a Moscow hotel room in 2017 and blamed it for destroying his career, as well as debilitating headaches that he continues to suffer from.
While in October last year it was reported how diplomat Mark Lenzi, 45, was stationed in Guangzhou, China, in 2017, when he developed unexplained symptoms, including headaches, memory loss and trouble sleeping.
His neighbor Catherine Werner also fell ill and fellow US official Robyn Garfield was evacuated from Shanghai with his family in June 2018.
And diplomats say they are not even being given the most basic information such as the numbers of those affected nor the locations of such ‘attacks’.