An intelligence officer traveling with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief William Burns suffered from the infamous “Havana Syndrome” while on a trip to India. The mysterious affliction has affected several other American spies, diplomats, and government workers, both at home and abroad.
Havana Syndrome was first reported in 2016 among officials working in U.S. and Canadian embassies in Havana, Cuba. Several more episodes have been reported among American officials in Russia, Austria, China, and Germany. Affected individuals reported pressure sensations inside their heads, accompanied by weird buzzing sounds coming from a specific direction. Some have reported experiencing intense and extended bouts of nausea, dizziness, and fatigue.
The U.S. intelligence community has started a 100-day probe into the potential causes behind Havana Syndrome. The investigation is expected to be completed before the end of the year. However, U.S. investigators are currently clueless as to who or what is causing the mysterious affliction, and how. President Joe Biden has been informed that there are over 300 such cases.
The unnamed intelligence officer who was affected by Havana Syndrome in India has reportedly received the necessary medical attention. Experts are still verifying the officer’s symptoms.
U.S. intelligence and defense agencies are on high alert following the incident. CIA Chief Burns is apparently angry at the turn of events. Burns was in India for extensive talks with the country’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, regarding the Afghan situation. Some officials at the agency feel that the incident is a message aimed at Burns that no one is safe, even those who work for the country’s top spy agency. Officials have not determined whether the intelligence officer was targeted because he was traveling with Burns.
“Director Barns has made it a top priority to ensure officers get the care they need and that we get to the bottom of this… We’ve strengthened efforts to determine the origins of the incidents, including assembling a team of our very best experts- bringing an intensity and expertise to this issue akin to our efforts to find bin Laden,” a CIA spokeswoman said to NBC News.
This is the second case of Havana Syndrome reported among U.S. officials in the past months. In August, a flight carrying Vice President Kamala Harris from Singapore to Vietnam was delayed for a while after a U.S. intelligence official reported symptoms closely resembling that of Havana Syndrome.
A medical study conducted on the cases reported in Cuba revealed that affected individuals had suffered some form of brain injury. Although there was no conclusive proof as to what exactly happened to these people, researchers suggested that the brain injury might have been caused by directed microwave radiation. Some other studies have blamed pesticides and ultrasound technologies.