Thursday, March 2, 2023

According to American intelligence, the cause of the "Havana syndrome" is not a foreign foe

'Havana syndrome' not caused by foreign adversary, US intel finds

 MCLEAN: According to declassified findings released on Wednesday, a worldwide US intelligence investigation found it "very unlikely" that a foreign adversary is to blame for the "Havana syndrome" illness that has affected US diplomats, spies, and other personnel worldwide.

Migraines, nausea, forgetfulness, and dizziness are among the symptoms of the baffling illness, which officials from the US embassy in Havana, Cuba, first reported in 2016.

The US government has now reported approximately 1,500 cases, some of which occurred this year.

The more than two-year investigation was carried out in more than 90 countries by seven of the 18 U.S. intelligence agencies, including the United States, where the FBI launched a criminal investigation.

A US intelligence official briefed reporters said that the agencies even considered the possibility that extraterrestrials were to blame, but they decided against it.

The assessment stated, "Most IC (intelligence community) agencies have concluded that it is'very unlikely' that a foreign adversary is responsible."

In addition, it discovered "no credible evidence" that any adversary of the United States had "a weapon or collection device," such as an electromagnetic energy pulse emitter, that could cause the symptoms.

The previous year, a group of experts from within and outside the government came to the conclusion that such pulses might have been given to some of the people who complained of symptoms.

According to the assessment's conclusion, "IC agencies assess the symptoms reported by US personnel were probably the result of factors that did not involve a foreign adversary," such as conventional illnesses, pre-existing conditions, and environmental factors.

It went on to say that the findings that "medical, environmental, and social factors can explain" many symptoms increased confidence in that conclusion.

One of the two US intelligence officials who briefed reporters stated, "We cannot tie a foreign adversary to any incident." He went on to say that reports of similar symptoms from before 2016 were also looked at, but there wasn't enough data on those reports.

During the investigation, he stated, none of the foreign intelligence services contacted reported similar incidents.

Wide-ranging investigation According to the intelligence officials, the investigation involved hundreds of US intelligence officers, other officials, and outside experts and covered more than 90 nations.

According to the assessment, it included creating 3-D models of the incident locations, identifying individuals and buildings near those sites, tracking license plates, examining possible Russian involvement, conducting interviews, reviewing recordings, and developing special sensors.

According to the second intelligence official, US intelligence agencies also used electronic devices to monitor individuals around the world, such as arms dealers, "seeing what they were doing, who they were talking to."

She stated, "We had leads that took nine months to unpack."

She stated that the investigation considered a wide range of possibilities, including "potential correlations with things overheard."

"Yes, we gave extraterrestrials some thought."

According to the declassified assessment, the judgments were varying degrees of confidence among the seven U.S. intelligence agencies that carried out the investigation.

The US intelligence community is overseen by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which stated that agencies would continue investigating the incidents and responding to those who reported them.

Additionally, a separate Pentagon review is ongoing.

The "findings do not call into question the experiences and real health issues that US government personnel and their family members - including CIA's own officers - have reported while serving our country," CIA Director William Burns stated in a statement.

"We will continue to remain alert to any risks to the health and well-being of agency officers, ensure that officers have access to care, and show them the compassion and respect they deserve," reads the statement.

The initial US intelligence official elaborated on how the agencies arrived at the crucial conclusion that foreign involvement was unlikely, stating that they detected confusion among foreign adversaries regarding the issue.

He added, "Many of them think this is a US plot," and that the agencies were able to learn some adversaries' "inside thinking" without identifying them.

According to the White House and the State Department, the provision of medical care and assistance to US employees who report symptoms will continue to be of the utmost importance.

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, said in a sarcastic commentary that the US media and intelligence community had long suggested Moscow was to blame.

"So, it turns out that our idea of an "evil empire" is falling apart right in front of our eyes?" She penned.

Catch Daily Highlights In Your Email

* indicates required

Post Top Ad