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Friday, May 27, 2022

CIA Says Havana Syndrome Could be Due to Foreign Campaign

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An official at the agency stated that a preliminary CIA report had concluded that a global campaign of a foreign power wasn’t likely to be the cause of the mysterious Havana syndrome, which has afflicted Canadian and American diplomats all over the globe.

Why it is important: 

A CIA official explained to Axios, that most of the 1,000 cases reported by the government could be explained by “medical conditions or technical factors” such as previously undiagnosed diseases and that reports are often made out of an excess of caution.

  • The official stated that “we assess that it’s unlikely that a foreign actor (including Russia) is conducting a sustained global campaign to harm U.S. personnel using a weapon or mechanism.”
  • Some legislators suggested that the sometimes debilitating condition was caused by directed energy attacks.

It Could Be, But

A CIA official stated that there are “a subset, our most difficult cases so far” that are still unresolved. These cases remain the focus for an active investigation. The official said that the agency had “not ruled out” the involvement of foreign actors in these cases and is continuing to investigate.

  • Officials told multiple outlets that Havana syndrome was among nearly two dozen unsolved illnesses.

A Clear Picture

A 2020 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Report found that radiofrequency energy of radiation, which includes microwaves, was most likely to be the cause of the continuing epidemic of illness that continues to affect diplomats, including those in Geneva and Paris. Extreme headaches and nausea are possible symptoms.

  • The 2020 report doesn’t assign blame for the alleged attacks. It does note that there was significant research done in Russia/USSR on the effects of pulsed rather than continuous wave radiofrequency exposures and that military personnel from “Eurasian communist nations” were exposed to nonthermal radiation.
  • Russia has always denied being behind Havana Syndrome.


The CIA Director William Burns stated that the agency was “pursuing complex issues with analytic rigor and sound tradecraft and compassion and has dedicated intensive resources to address this challenge.”

  • Burns stated that while we have made some important interim findings, it is not enough. “We will continue to investigate these incidents, and provide world-class healthcare for those who require it.”
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