Thursday, May 6, 2021

US investigating potential mysterious guided energy attack near White House


Several sources familiar with the matter tell CNN that while the Pentagon and other agencies have investigated the case, there has been no clear conclusion on what happened, given the fact that such an attack may have occurred close to the White House , Is particularly dangerous.

Defense officials informed senators of Senate and House Armed Services Committees earlier this month on the incident near the White House. The incident, which took place near Alip, the large oval lawn on the south side of the White House, sickened a National Security Council official, according to several current and former US officials and sources familiar with the matter.

Those people reported similar symptoms affecting CIA and State Department personnel overseas, and officials quickly began investigating the incident as a possible “Havana syndrome” attack. This name refers to unexplained symptoms that American workers in Cuba Started experiencing in late 2016 – a distinct set of complaints that include ear popping, vertigo, pounding headaches and nausea, sometimes with an unknown “piercing directional noise”.

Rumors have long been swirling in Washington about similar incidents within the United States. While recent episodes around Washington appear similar to previous apparent attacks affecting diplomats, CIA officials, and other US personnel serving in Cuba, Russia and China, investigators have not determined whether at home Disgusting incidents are linked to people who are abroad or who may be behind them, sources tell CNN.

Defense officials, who told MPs that it is possible that Russia was behind the attacks, but did not have enough information to say for sure. Another former US official involved in the investigation at the time said that China was also involved in the suspects.

The US has struggled to understand these attacks since 2016 and 2017, when diplomatic and intelligence personnel in Cuba first began reporting dangerous symptoms that appeared out of the blue. Intelligence and defense officials have been hesitant to speak publicly about the strange incidents, and some who were affected have publicly complained that the CIA did not take the case seriously, at least initially.

The attacks eventually led to a dramatic decline of staff at the outpost in Havana under the Trump administration. Personnel in Russia and China reported similar, unexplained incidents. While there is no consensus as to what causes the symptoms, a State Department-sponsored The study found that they were probably the result of microwave energy Attacks.

A ‘bureaucratic power game’

Another mystery surrounding the “Havana syndrome” is how the US government is tackling the problem. Those investigating the mysterious pattern of potential attacks include the CIA, the State Department, and the Department of Defense.

Near the end of the Trump administration, the Pentagon sought to pull out of the perceived frustration that other agencies were not doing enough to address the issue.

“I knew that the CIA and the State Department were not taking this task seriously and we wanted to embarrass them by setting up our task force,” CNN told CNN last week.

Pentagon leaders formed a task force to monitor reports of such symptoms while hitting Defense Department personnel overseas, an effort Miller said would allow the CIA and the state to take the problem more seriously in their own personnel Was coerced as a “bureaucratic power game” to force. .

Miller said he began seeing reports of these mysterious symptoms as a high priority in December, after interviewing an alleged victim with an extensive hunting experience.

“When this officer came in and I knew his background and he spoke of an extraordinarily detailed but more military style that I could understand, I was really genuine,” Miller said. “This kid was facing a bunch and he knew.”

CIA in December 2020, and Expanded its efforts Under new director William Burns, who swore during his confirmation hearing to review evidence for alleged attacks on CIA personnel abroad, which have long been publicly reported. state Department Name of a senior officer To lead the department’s response to the “Havana syndrome” attacks in March.

The Department of Defense effort is understood to be the strongest, possibly stating that a defense official briefed lawmakers on the Ellipse incident, rather than the intelligence community or the FBI, even if it happened on American soil.

Miller tapped career civil servant Griffin Decker of the US Special Operations Command to run the effort. Decker would track and verify reports in the military that had until then become informally known as “Havana Syndrome”. Miller says Griffin would report them to “a new case every two weeks”, although he cautioned that they were looking for false reporting, psychosomatic episodes, or hypochondria. Miller said that some of the cases he tracked included children and dependents of Defense Department personnel.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday, National Intelligence director Aville Haines was asked about CNN’s reporting by Sen. Jenny Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat. Haines did not discuss the specifics but called the issue of the mysterious attacks “critically important” and said “in the intelligence community, clearly, leaders are focused on the issue.”

Haines also defended the classification of information related to the attacks, but said members of Congress “should have access to classified information.”

A White House spokesman said in a statement, “The White House is working closely with departments and agencies. To protect the privacy of individuals reporting incidents, we cannot provide or confirm specific details at this time . “

It is difficult to determine the cause of symptoms.

Decker and Jennifer Walsh, acting under the Secretary of Defense for Policy, briefed House and Senate lawmakers over the past two weeks on possible attacks, two sources familiar with the briefing told CNN. Politico first Reported At the committee briefing.

In one incident investigated, Marines on a remote base in Syria developed flu-like symptoms shortly after flying on the basis of a Russian helicopter – promptly raising concerns that it could be one of these strange attacks. A former US official briefed about the incident said, “It was quickly detected where they had poor food and where the base did not have the same symptoms as anyone else.” It was also determined by a defense doctor that the symptoms started before the Russia patrol, a defense official told CNN.

The Syrian episode exposes the difficulties that American officials face in trying to explain what is an attack and what is not an attack. Symptoms often vary, and officials still have no clear idea of ​​what the unnamed opposition is doing. At least one former US official aware of the case said investigators have still not completely ruled out the possibility that the symptoms are caused by a naturally occurring event rather than a weapon.

Another US defense official confirmed that the Pentagon’s investigation was on. The officials would not provide any details, but said, “Even if we do not have equality in it, we cannot see it.”

“There is nothing that the Secretary of Defense takes more seriously that the safety, health and welfare of our personnel serving around the world in defense of our values ​​and freedom,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement. “Any concerns over the issues that call into question are thoroughly reviewed, and appropriate actions are taken to minimize the risk to our personnel.”

A March report by the National Academy of Sciences found that “directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy” was the most likely cause of the strange set of symptoms. While the report was meticulously written that it did not proceed with its findings, it did offer some clear public evidence that events may have been attacked, leading to misery for “pulsed” or “directed” energy.

Some personnel have been seriously injured in alleged attacks with at least one career CIA officer. Forced to retire last year And diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.

The story has been updated with comments from the White House and the Director of National Intelligence.

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