‘Havana Syndrome’ Not Caused by Foreign Actors, Energy Weapons: Intel Report

Seven intelligence agencies participated in a report concluding that the mysterious ailment isn’t caused by America’s adversaries


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A REPORT CREATED with the participation of seven intelligence agencies concluded that the so-called “Havana Syndrome” afflicting various intelligence officers was not caused by weaponized energy waves. The report, details of which were described to The Washington Postdebunks theories that the mysterious illness was the result of purposeful actions taken by a foreign government, or the byproduct of covert surveillance techniques. 

Havana Syndrome” is the term used to describe a set of unexplained symptoms reported by hundreds of diplomats and intelligence workers stationed at foreign embassies. The symptoms, which range from headaches, to acute tinnitus, to cognitive impairment, were first reported by American diplomats stationed in Havana, Cuba, in 2016. Cases were brought forward by Americans stationed in various other countries, including Austria, China, Russia, Poland, and Taiwan. 

According to the Post, intelligence officials were unable to identify commonalities between the afflicted that would establish a pattern between cases. Geographic data indicated that it was unlikely an “energy weapon” was used against affected personnel, not least because several of the affected were working in enclosed facilities with no “direct line of sight” to them at the time of the theoretical attacks. 

“There was nothing,” an official told the Post. Despite years of investigation the intelligence community could not identify any link between a foreign nation’s activities and the symptoms, but maintain that future evidence could reshape their assessment. 

Despite initial concerns from lawmakers and intelligence officers that the syndrome had been caused by foreign attacks on diplomats, intelligence agencies have tamped down their rhetoric, admitting in recent years that their initial theories were likely unfounded. A declassified State Department report concluded in 2018 that the “idea that these were attacks intended to cause injury is supported neither by a smoking gun nor by clearly identified victims.” In January of last year the CIA indicated that throughout the course of its investigation it had found “plausible, alternate explanations” outside of an attack for the majority of Havana Syndrome cases.

One of those possible alternative explanations was that crickets, not a supersonic weapon, were the cause of the syndrome.