Havana Syndrome sufferer labels condition 'act of war'
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Known as Havana syndrome, the co-called neurological illness is said to have impacted 1,000 US diplomats.
Those affected have reported headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms consistent with traumatic brain injuries.
Some previously claimed the symptoms are a result of “directed” radio frequency attacks from Russia.
But CIA officials have reportedly concluded that the Kremlin is not to blame.
They say that most cases can be explained by environmental causes, undiagnosed medical conditions or stress, rather than actions by a foreign power.
The agency is continuing investigations into two dozen unexplained cases that may offer clues as to whether a foreign power is behind the condition.
The condition first came to public attention in 2016 after dozens of diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, complained of sickness.
CIA Director William Burns said in a statement that the agency was pursuing a complex issue with “analytic rigor, sound tradecraft and compassion,” and emphasised that agency officers had experienced real symptoms.
He added: “While we have reached some significant interim findings, we are not done.”
“We will continue the mission to investigate these incidents and provide access to world-class care for those who need it.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview the US still did not know what Havana Syndrome
While some experts have suggested that the illness is purely a psychological condition that is brought about from stress, others believe it to be a deliberate attack.
Bill Evanina, a former senior US intelligence official, said; “Was it an offensive weapon in some manner or form targeted to individuals? I believe it was.
“You may ask yourself if the Russian government was increasing and propagating their intelligence operation in Cuba, probably not good for them to have the US in Cuba in mass to identify some of things that have happened there”
Russia has denied any wrongdoing – and there are some that agree.
The mystery illness was explored by authors Robert Baloh and Robert Bartholomew in their March 2020 book, Havana Syndrome: Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story Behind the Embassy Mystery and Hysteria.
According to the book’s description, Havana syndrome “is one of the most extraordinary cases in the history of science”.
The authors concluded at the time Havana syndrome was not an effort to target US diplomats, but rather a psychogenic illness.
The investigation continues into a few remaining cases.
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