Story at a glance

  • A veteran CIA spy, who was part of the agency’s tracking of Osama bin Laden, will be leading the task force investigating cases of “Havana syndrome.”
  • “Havana syndrome” refers to a number of mysterious health attacks on U.S. officials and diplomats in which they have experienced nausea, headaches, loss of hearing and brain damage.
  • Since President Biden has taken office, two dozen U.S. intelligence officers, diplomats and government officials in Vienna have fallen victim to similar afflictions.

A veteran CIA spy, who was part of the agency’s tracking of Osama bin Laden, will be leading the task force investigating cases of “Havana syndrome,” according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal.

First reported by U.S. diplomats in Cuba in 2016, “Havana syndrome” refers to a number of mysterious health attacks on U.S. officials and diplomats in which they have experienced nausea, headaches, loss of hearing and brain damage. 


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Believed to be inflicted by a directed energy device, these attacks have since been reported on officials in Washington, D.C., as well, beginning in 2019. Since President Biden has taken office, two dozen U.S. intelligence officers, diplomats and government officials in Vienna have fallen victim to similar afflictions, according to The New Yorker.

In addition to the veteran task force head, whose identity remains secret, an unidentified U.S. official told the WSJ that the investigating team is composed of “intelligence analysts, clandestine officers who collect human intelligence, clinicians and human resource specialists.”


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Published on Jul 22, 2021