The CIA concluded that “Havana Syndrome”, a mysterious illness sometimes associated with “acoustic attacks” against American diplomatic personnel, was not a priori attributable to an attack by a foreign power.
This information comes from the American media New York Times and NBC, which quote preliminary conclusions of the CIA. These relate to incidents that first occurred in 2016 in the Cuban capital. American and Canadian diplomats complained of severe headaches and nausea.
“In hundreds of cases, the agency found plausible and alternative explanations” for a foreign operation, according to sources cited by NBC. But the investigation of the CIA continues concerning about twenty cases which remain unexplained.
No definitive answer
“The interim report was not a final conclusion of the Biden administration or the entire intelligence community,” NBC said, citing US officials.
A victims’ group quoted by The New York Times said the CIA’s findings “cannot and should not be the final word on the matter.”
“Although we have reached important intermediate conclusions, we are not finished”, tried to reassure William J. Burns, the director of the CIA, quoted by the New York Times. “We will continue to investigate these incidents,” he said.
“Bringing All the Light”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged in November 2021 to “shed light” on the “Havana syndrome”, appointing two experienced diplomats on this file.
These “abnormal health incidents”, as they are called in the administrative jargon, are characterized by severe migraines, dizziness or nausea. Brain damage has even been diagnosed.
Since its appearance in Havana, cases have successively been reported in China, Germany, Australia, Russia, Austria and even in Washington. And also in Geneva, according to information from the Wall Street Journal.
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The US State Department declines to provide an estimate of the number of people affected. The figure of 200 is mentioned.
From the start, US authorities have not provided a single narrative. Some officials downplayed symptoms sometimes attributed to stress, while others privately discussed possible radio wave attacks and suspected countries like Russia. But this thesis is also questioned by some scientists, who consider a common cause unlikely for all the reported cases.
afp / ami