Some U.S. diplomats are frustrated with the Biden administration’s response to increasing reports of the mysterious “Havana Syndrome” striking officials who work abroad, CNN reported Monday.
The syndrome owes its name to a group of U.S. officials who returned from Cuba and began reporting spontaneous “headaches, loss of balance, hearing, ringing in the ears and sometimes long-term brain damage.” But dozens of officials working both abroad and on U.S. soil have begun reporting similar symptoms, and some at the State Department have tailored their careers to avoid potential exposure, according to CNN.
Those officials also argue Secretary of State Tony Blinken has been slow in responding to reports of the condition. Blinken has yet to meet with any of the victims, and leaders at the State Department have been tight-lipped regarding investigations into the cause. (RELATED: Cuba Denies Existence Of Secret Radio Wave Weapon After US Alleges It Was Used To Target Feds’ Brains)
One report in May, however, suggested that the Russian spy unit GRU may be using “directed-energy attacks” to cause the symptoms. The U.S. also revealed that some of the energy attacks have taken place outside the White House.
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.
CIA Director William Burns has been receiving daily briefings on Havana Syndrome incidents for months, however, and has met with several of its victims. Both Burns and the State Department have ongoing investigations into the phenomenon.
“It looks, smells and feels like the GRU,” a former national security official involved in the investigation told Politico in May. “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.”