‘Very Unlikely’ Foreign Actor Causes Havana Syndrome: US Secret Service
WASHINGTON – Several American intelligence agencies are concluding that it is “very unlikely” that the mysterious illness known as Havana syndrome was caused by a foreign actor, according to an assessment released Wednesday.
The first cases of the so-called Havana syndrome appeared in Cuba in 2016 and included complaints of nosebleeds, migraines and nausea after night piercing noises. Similar reports later surfaced in China, Russia, Europe and even Washington.
The CIA said last year it was “unlikely” that a foreign actor had conducted an ongoing campaign against US personnel, but that it could not rule out foreign attacks in about two dozen cases.
The latest assessment says that most intelligence agencies “have concluded that it is ‘very unlikely’ that a foreign adversary is responsible for Havana Syndrome.”
“Five agencies have ruled that available intelligence information consistently argues against US adversary involvement,” while one “assessed it unlikely that a foreign adversary played a role,” and another abstained, it said.
Authorities investigated various indicators of “hostile activity,” including identifying suspicious individuals near the scenes of the incident and looking for a pattern among those affected.
“These efforts failed to identify any adversary as responsible for any incident,” the assessment reads.
US intelligence had said in 2022 that intense directed energy from an outside source could have caused some cases of Havana syndrome, officially known as abnormal health incidents (AHIs).
But the latest assessment says the intelligence agencies concluded that “there is no credible evidence that a foreign adversary has a weapon or collection device that causes AHIs.”
– Unanswered questions –
The medical analysis of the AHIs has also changed since the first reports in a way that does not indicate the involvement of a foreign adversary, the assessment said.
Initial studies found that Havana syndrome “represents a novel medical syndrome or consistent injury pattern similar to traumatic brain injury,” but a review of preliminary data from a 2021 National Institutes of Health study does not indicate such a pattern.
The assessment states that the initial medical reports were central to the hypothesis that the injuries were not the result of natural causes.
Now, intelligence agencies estimate that the Havana syndrome symptoms were likely the result of pre-existing conditions, conventional illnesses, and environmental factors.
Attorney Mark Zaid, who says his firm represents more than two dozen people suffering from AHI, criticized the intelligence assessment.
“The most recent US intelligence assessment lacks transparency and we continue to question the accuracy of the alleged findings,” Zaid said in a statement.
“Due to the overwhelming number of unanswered questions, it is inconceivable that today’s report will have the last word,” he added.
The US consulate in Havana — which was closed after cases of Havana syndrome emerged during Donald Trump’s presidency — resumed full immigrant visa service for Cubans in January.
Source: Crypto News Deutsch