US officials reportedly targeted by sonic attacks in America on at least three occasions

Officers claim to have experienced symptoms in Russia, Cuba and China

James Crump@thejamescrump
Wednesday 21 October 2020 21:29
comments
Biden breaks silence on son's laptop and says Rudy Giuliani is Trump's henchman: 'It's a last ditch effort to smear me and my family'

Several US officials have reportedly been targeted by sonic attacks on American soil over the last three years.

In 2017, dozens of US diplomats and spies stationed at the American embassy in Havana, Cuba, reported hearing strange sounds, before experiencing blurred vision, memory loss and headaches.

The symptoms became known as Havana Syndrome, due to where they were first reported, but in the years since several more US officials have claimed to have experienced the mysterious illness on US soil.

An unnamed American diplomat and his family said that they heard mysterious sounds and fell ill while working in Philadelphia in 2018, according to the Daily Mail.

The diplomat and his wife both claimed that they felt a pressure in their heads and found their children moving “in unison” in their sleep.

In November 2019, an unnamed White House employee said that she experienced similar symptoms when she was allegedly targeted by a man while walking her dog in Arlington, Virginia.

She said she felt a tingling in her face and experienced an intense headache, while her dog seized up.

A third incident has not been described in detail as of yet, but the Mail reported that it took place on US soil, and that the American official experienced similar symptoms.

Dozens of US officials claim to have experienced the same symptoms while stationed in China, Cuba and Russia.

On Tuesday, GQ published an interview with a CIA official based in Russia, who spoke about the debilitating migraines he has experienced since falling ill while stationed in the country.

Marc Polymeropoulos, 52, told GQ that he experienced severe headaches and vertigo while in a hotel room in Moscow in 2017.

Mr Polymeropoulos said that he was not the only person to have fallen ill on the trip, as he claimed that one of his colleagues lost hearing in one of his ears after experiencing similar symptoms.

The 52-year-old said that he was forced to retire because of the pain, and added: “I had a lot more to offer. I was 50, but I had to retire because these goddamn headaches don’t go away.”

Experts at the CIA and the State Department told The New York Times on Monday that they believe Russia is behind the attacks.

The officials said that several high-ranking CIA officers fell ill while travelling to discuss plans to counter Russian covert operations with partner intelligence agencies, according to the Times.

A former national security official also claimed that Russia “have been told they can take the gloves off and do whatever they want to hurt Americans.

“They're trying to weaken us generally, and they've obviously taken the gloves off quite some time ago.”

While CIA and White House officials claimed to GQ that officers have also been targeted across the world, in Poland, Georgia, Australia and Taiwan.

Officials told GQ that mobile phone data showed that Russian agents were close to the CIA officers in those countries at the time of the alleged attacks.

However, the State Department has so far not found any link between the illnesses experienced by US diplomats in Cuba and China.

In a statement, the department said: “The safety and security of US personnel, their families and US citizens is our top priority. The US government has not yet determined a cause or an actor.”

The CIA added: “If there was credible intelligence that showed an adversary purposefully harmed a CIA officer, you can bet director Haspel would act swiftly and decisively.”

While a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said: “I will not try to confirm whether they are the victims of ‘an acoustic attack,’ paranoia, or Russophobia. That’s a question for the doctors.”

Ms Zakharova added that the claims are “absolutely absurd and bizarre”.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments