US Believes Russia Behind ‘Sonic Attacks
U.S. now believes Russia is behind ‘sonic attack’ on 26 embassy personnel in Cuba. US Believes Russia Behind ‘Sonic Attacks
Diplomatic worker in China similarly afflicted in what are now believed to have been microwave, rather than sonic, attacks.
Russia is believed to be behind the strange “sonic attacks” that have left U.S. diplomats with concussion-like injuries in Cuba and China, according to a report Tuesday.
Communications intercepts, known as “signals intelligence,” that point to Russia as the culprit have been collected as part of an ongoing investigation by the FBI, CIA and other agencies in the US, multiple sources reportedly told NBC News.
The evidence, though, isn’t conclusive enough to formally blame Moscow.
Twenty-six U.S. workers have been hurt in the attacks that occurred in their homes or hotel rooms beginning in 2016. Most reported hearing high-pitched sounds, leading investigators to suspect a sonic weapon.
The FBI later said sound waves alone couldn’t have caused the symptoms, which included brain injuries, hearing loss, cognitive problems, difficulty with balance and problems with vision and hearing.
A U.S. employee experienced similar symptoms following an attack earlier this summer in Guangzhou, China.
Now scientists are saying microwaves could be to blame, according to CNN.
The unexplained incidents have worsened relations between the Cuba and the U.S., which pulled out most of its diplomats from Havana and tossed 17 Cuban counterparts from Washington.
Cuba has denied any involvement, and officials there don’t believe a sonic device is to blame.
The incidents are also being probed by the State Department’s internal Accountability Review Board.
“The State Department has come to the determination that they were attacks,” the head of the board, retired Ambassador Peter Bodde, testified before Congress last week.
A source told NBC News that the U.S. has “no reason to believe this was anything but an intentional act.”
The Kremlin didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Last week, a top security official in the U.K. pointed the finger at Vladimir Putin for the deadly nerve-agent attacks that nearly killed a former Russian spy and his daughter in England.
August 10th, 2017
Sonic Weapons Were Used To Induce Hearing Loss In State Department Workers At U.S. Embassy In Cuba
They were victims of a silent “acoustic attack”. All experienced an array of physical symptoms similar to a concussion.
At least 16 Americans working at the U.S. Embassy in Havana have experienced hearing loss or other symptoms from some unknown cause that could be deliberate or accidental, the State Department said Thursday.
Some officials have attributed the ailments to sonic waves from covert listening devices, but spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday that the State Department hasn’t determined an official source or cause for the variety of symptoms that diplomats have reported.
The State Department evacuated some of the American officials from Havana for medical treatment, while others remained in Havana and received treatment there. Washington kicked out two Cuban diplomats in May in response to the reported health problems. Ms. Nauert has previously described the attacks as “unprecedented.”
Officials said diplomats in December began reporting health problems such as dizziness and hearing loss, and there have been no new incidents since the spring. Diplomats also are experiencing other unspecified symptoms and investigations into the cause and the diplomats’ conditions are continuing.
Canada has said that at least one Canadian official from its embassy also is being treated for hearing loss.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the incidents as “awful” and said the U.S. held Cuban authorities responsible for determining who was behind “health attacks” on diplomats from the U.S. and elsewhere.
The Cuban government has denied any involvement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law-enforcement officials are involved in the investigation. The Cuban government has also initiated a probe.
The Trump administration has decided to pull back on some of President Barack Obama’s diplomatic opening with Cuba, which began in December 2014.
The U.S. and Cuba have reopened embassies, resumed regular commercial flights and allowed American companies to begin to stake out opportunities in the country. The Trump administration is keeping the embassies open but is pulling back on some of the expanded business and travel allowances.
Officials said the policy shift wasn’t tied to the incidents in Havana, particularly because the U.S. hasn’t yet determined who is responsible for them.
U.S. Diplomats’ Illnesses Likely Linked To Pulsed Energy Attack
Panel releases findings on medical symptoms experienced by those working in Cuba, China.
A U.S. scientific panel has concluded that exposure to a type of directed energy was the most likely culprit for a number of medical symptoms, including dizziness and memory loss, experienced by diplomats posted in Cuba and China.
In a new assessment published Saturday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, scientists identified “directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy” as the most likely explanation for a series of symptoms experienced by diplomats posted at U.S. facilities—a broad category of energy that can include microwave radiation.
The scientists concluded that the symptoms experienced by a number of U.S. and Canadian diplomats, which included dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, cognitive difficulties and memory loss, were “unlike any disorder in the neurological or general medical literature.”
The panel of 19 scientific and medical experts had been tasked by the U.S. State Department to advise the government on the reasons for the symptoms experienced by people posted at diplomatic facilities abroad.
The committee said the abrupt onset of symptoms was most consistent with “a directed radio frequency (RF) energy attack” rather than inadvertent or environmental exposure, but also that more research was needed. Governments, including the former Soviet Union and the U.S., have tested using directed energy as a potential weapon or a tool for espionage or crowd control in the past.
“Because the committee was not able to assess specific scenarios involving malevolent actors, one strong suggestion is that follow-up studies on this topic be undertaken by subject-matter experts with proper clearance, including those who work outside the U.S. government, with full access to all relevant information,” wrote David Relman, professor of medicine at Stanford University and chairman of the panel, in a preface to the report.
The symptoms experienced by U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers posted in Cuba began in late 2016 and caused a rupture in relations between the two countries, which had begun a delicate rapprochement under then-President Barack Obama after decades of Cold War-era tensions.
President Trump publicly blamed Cuba for the incident, a charge that Havana denied. U.S. diplomats in China later experienced other symptoms, and similar symptoms were reported by intelligence officials working on Russia-related operations around the world.
The scientific panel examined other possibilities, including exposure to chemicals, infectious diseases or that the symptoms were primarily caused by psychological or social factors. However, it concluded that radio frequency energy exposure was the most likely culprit.
The paper published Saturday validates earlier findings by a different medical team. Douglas H. Smith, who published a study on the issue in a medical journal, said in 2018 that exposure to microwaves, a type of radio frequency energy, were the most likely culprit.