Mumbai, April 2: The US government has acknowledged that its diplomats stationed worldwide, suffering from the mysterious 'Havana Syndrome,' might have been targeted by sonic weaponry attributed to Russia's military intelligence. This assertion stands in contrast to previous US official statements, which did not link the 'anomalous health incidents' (AHIs) to any energy weapon or foreign adversary.

A joint investigation by The Insider, Der Spiegel, and CBS's 60 Minutes has brought forth new evidence suggesting that the Russian GRU's Unit 29155 could be behind the deployment of sonic weaponry causing the syndrome. Despite these claims, the Kremlin, through spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, has denied any involvement, labelling the accusations as baseless and lacking convincing evidence. US Official Warns of ‘Serious National Security Threat’ After Intelligence Report Says Russia Planning for Space-Based Nuclear Weapon.

What is Havana Syndrome?

The term 'Havana Syndrome' emerged in 2016 following reports from U.S. diplomats in Havana experiencing unusual auditory phenomena and subsequent health issues such as headaches, bloody noses, and vision problems. US staff have reported similar symptoms globally, including in Washington DC.

In a notable case from 2021, an FBI official, referred to as Carrie, reportedly suffered an intense episode of the syndrome, leading to severe physical reactions. The incident occurred domestically, suggesting that the reach of these health incidents extends beyond U.S. diplomatic stations. Vladimir Putin Says Ready to Use Nuclear Weapons if Russia's Existence Faces Threat.

What Are Causes of Havana Syndrome?

While the exact causes of Havana Syndrome remain elusive, studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest that the symptoms could be attributed to pre-existing conditions, conventional illnesses, or environmental factors rather than brain injuries detectable by MRI.

Where Has Been Havana Syndrome Found?

Reports indicate that cases of Havana Syndrome have been identified in various locations, including Austria, where U.S. officials have experienced similar symptoms since President Joe Biden's tenure. There are indications that the first instances may have occurred in Germany, predating the 2016 reports from Cuba.

Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh confirmed that a senior defence department official reportedly experienced symptoms consistent with Havana Syndrome during the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius.

US Intelligence Agencies' Stance on Havana Syndrome

Despite ongoing investigations into the phenomenon, five US intelligence agencies concluded in 2023 that there is no link between Havana Syndrome and Russian activities. However, former US Defense Department investigator Greg Edgreen highlighted a 'Russia nexus' among the victims, suggesting a potential connection to Russian operations.

The situation remains under scrutiny as the US continues to probe the origins and implications of Havana Syndrome. This condition has affected its diplomatic and intelligence community across the globe.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 02, 2024 06:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website