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    Evacuation of CIA officers from Serbia spreads Havana Syndrome attack

    Washington — The CIA has evacuated intelligence personnel working in Serbia who have been seriously injured in line with a neurological attack for the past few weeks. Known as Havana SyndromeAccording to current and former US authorities.

    Previously unreported incidents on the Balkan Peninsula used American spies and diplomats posted abroad by unknown perpetrators using what government officials and scientists suspect had some direction. The latest that authorities have described as a steady expansion of attacks on government-energy sources.

    Current and former officials said more suspicious attacks had occurred abroad and in the United States, along with those recently reported in India and Vietnam.

    “In the last 60-90 days, many other cases have been reported in US soil and around the world,” said Dr. James Giordano, a professor of neurology at Georgetown University who advises the U.S. government on this issue. “. “These are considered valid reports with validated health indicators.”

    Continued attacks that could cause dizziness, memory loss, and other health problems have caused frustration within the U.S. government and demoralized the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, current and former officials said. rice field. Officials said some professional diplomats and spies are hesitant to post abroad for themselves and their families.

    CIA Secretary William Burns has tripled the number of medical staff focused on Havana Syndrome, officials said.


    Photo:

    Jim Low Skullzo / Shutterstock

    “The lights are flashing red. This is a VIP trip, a crisis for overseas executives,” said a veteran CIA operations officer who retired from the CIA in 2019 due to continued suffering after his 2017 visit to Moscow. One Mark Polymeroplos said he was critical of the federal response.

    Overall, the Biden administration has made finding the cause of the attack a “top priority,” officials said. A spokesperson for the CIA and the State Department also said the issue was a major concern and refused to discuss the Serbian case and certain other cases.

    “We take each report we receive very seriously and work to ensure that affected employees receive the care and support they need,” said a State Department spokesman.

    A CIA spokesman said authorities are doing everything they can to protect their officers. CIA Director William Burns has changed leadership at the agency’s Health Services Department, trebling the number of medical staff focused on the issue, a spokeswoman said.This summer he tapped the agency’s decade-old Osama bin Laden hunting veteran. Lead the task force Find the cause of the incident.

    In recent weeks, the CIA has also recalled administrative issues, including the treatment of individuals believed to have been attacked, the director of the Vienna agency where numerous attacks were carried out, sources familiar with the matter said. .. The Washington Post first reported the recall.

    Several recent attacks are approaching the top of the Biden administration. When Mr Burns traveled to India earlier this month, members of his team reported symptoms consistent with Havana syndrome and were treated, US officials said. The incident was first reported by CNN.

    In August, Vice President Kamala Harris temporarily Delayed her arrival in Vietnam After the State Department made her office aware of the “possible abnormal health accident” in Hanoi (the official name for the US government’s Havana Syndrome).

    Vice President Kamala Harris visited Hanoi, Vietnam in August after a temporary delay due to concerns about Havana Syndrome.


    Photo:

    Evelyn Hoxtine / Agence France-Presse-Press / Getty Images

    An unexplained health accident is known as Havana Syndrome. They first surfaced Between US diplomats and intelligence officers in Cuba in late 2016. Symptoms include dizziness, headache, malaise, nausea, anxiety, cognitive impairment, and memory loss.

    Since then, attack Reported in China, Colombia, Austria, Germany, and Serbia, India, Vietnam. Approximately 200 U.S. government officials have been affected, but authorities need to medically examine each case, and the exact number, as the symptoms of some individuals will explain others. Warns that it is difficult to determine.

    Five years after the first symptoms appeared, the US government has not yet identified who is behind the attack and which mechanism is being used.

    “Are we approaching? I think the answer is yes, but it’s not enough to make the analytical decisions people are waiting for,” CIA Deputy Secretary David Cohen said earlier this month. Said at the National Security Summit.

    In December, a committee of the National Academy of Science and Technology Medicine said that the sudden onset of symptoms was ” Directional radio frequency (RF) energy attackInadvertent or environmental exposure, not. But it also said that more research is needed.

    Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines convened a task force consisting of intelligence personnel and outside scientists in an attempt to identify the mechanism or device used in the attack. It’s unclear what will be announced, but the report is scheduled for later this fall.

    Dr. Giordano of Georgetown said the culprit could be some form of ultrasound or audio equipment. Rapidly pulsed microwaves; or laser-based systems. He said the intentions of those who use it are also unknown. They may have adopted electronic monitoring systems with unusual side effects, or “individual forms of destructive equipment,” Dr. Giordano said.

    “It’s a good way to say this is a weapon,” he said.

    Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines has convened a task force to identify the attack methods that cause Havana syndrome.


    Photo:

    Bill Clark / Zuma Press

    Earlier this month, the House of Representatives sent a bill authorizing the CIA and the Department of State to provide financial compensation to employees with brain injuries during their mission to pass and sign Mr. Biden’s bill.

    “For a long time we have suffered from moral injuries of silent wounds. [U.S. government] The medical staff didn’t believe us. This has all changed now and is a watershed moment for the victims, “said Polymeropoulos.

    He said the bill provided both a statement by the US government that the attack was genuine and “a reward for victims who had taken thousands of dollars out of their pockets for medical care.”

    The Biden administration’s efforts to combat the attack include ensuring that “affected individuals receive the care they need,” officials said. “In certain cases, these incidents disrupted the lives of US personnel who have devoted their careers to serving our country.”

    According to officials and policy experts, the thorny question is what to do if Washington blames foreign enemies. Some current and former officials suspect Russia is behind the attack, but no official evidence has been revealed and Moscow has denied the claim. ..

    Jason Kilmeier, a former anti-terrorism and foreign policy expert at Deloitte Consulting LLP, said the United States should now act and not wait for attribution. He urged strengthened defenses, made Havana Syndrome a bigger issue in its diplomacy, and increased pressure on enemy intelligence to see how they would react.

    “We will take five years to do this,” he said. “The’smoking gun’will not come.”

    Write to Warren P. Strobel Warren.Strobel@wsj.com

    Copyright © 2021 DowJones & Company, Inc. all rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

    Evacuation of CIA officers from Serbia spreads Havana Syndrome attack

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    The post Evacuation of CIA officers from Serbia spreads Havana Syndrome attack appeared first on Eminetra.

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