U.S. intelligence officials suspect the Russian spy unit GRU is behind recent alleged “directed energy attacks” on U.S. officials in America and overseas, Politico reported Monday.
Dozens of current and former U.S. personnel have exhibited symptoms consistent with the “Havana Syndrome” incident in 2016, in which U.S. personnel returning from Cuba reported spontaneous “headaches, loss of balance, hearing, ringing in the ears and sometimes long-term brain damage,” according to Politico. The GRU is Russia’s main intelligence apparatus and has also been accused of playing a role in 2016 election meddling as well as cyber attacks.
“The health and well-being of American public servants is a paramount priority to the Administration and we take extremely seriously reports by our personnel of anomalous health incidents,” a National Security Council spokesperson told Politico. (RELATED: Cuba Denies Existence Of Secret Radio Wave Weapon After US Alleges It Was Used To Target Feds’ Brains)
EXCLU: Russia’s GRU is suspected to be behind directed-energy attacks on U.S. personnel around the world & on U.S. soil, per people briefed. Biden officials are frantically working to reassure lawmakers they’re taking the threat seriously. w/@laraseligmanhttps://t.co/J5vqWL92sU
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) May 10, 2021
Russia’s GRU is one of few organizations that has both the global influence and technology to pull off such attacks in the U.S. and overseas. U.S. officials in both Russia and China have reported symptoms lining up with Havana Syndrome.
U.S. intelligence launched an investigation into potential Havana Syndrome attacks outside the White House in late April.
“It looks, smells and feels like the GRU,” a former national security official involved in the investigation told Politico. “When you are looking at the landscape, there are very few people who are willing, capable and have the technology. It’s pretty simple forensics.”
Some officials have argued the U.S. still isn’t taking the threat seriously enough, however.
“I knew CIA and Department of State were not taking this shit seriously and we wanted to shame them into it by establishing our task force,” Chris Miller, who was acting defense secretary from Nov. 9 until Jan. 20, told CNN in April.