Austria investigating after 2 dozen US officials in Vienna report Havana Syndrome symptoms

Vienna Austria
Vienna, Austria.

  • Two dozen US officials in Vienna have reported Havana Syndrome symptoms.
  • The ailment refers to mysterious neurological symptoms affecting US officials around the globe.
  • Scientists have long suspected the symptoms are caused by microwave radiation attacks.
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Austria is investigating reports of US diplomats and officials experiencing “unexplained health incidents” similar to the Havana Syndrome.

According to The New Yorker, two dozen US officials in Vienna have reported mysterious symptoms since Joe Biden took office in January, making it the second biggest hotspot aside from Havana.

The Havana Syndrome was first recorded in 2016 and 2017 when US officials in the Cuban capital reported inexplicable symptoms including migraines, vertigo, hearing loss, and other neurological problems.

Since then more than 130 US officials around the world have reported similar symptoms, including in China, Russia, and the US.

Researchers have said that patients have brain injuries consistent with head trauma.

Scientists have long suspected that the affliction is caused by microwave radiation attacks, although this has not been proven.

According to The New Yorker, CIA director William Burns has privately referred to the incidents as “attacks.”

During the Cold War, Austria’s neutrality and location meant that several other countries used it as a base for espionage.

Vienna still has a large diplomatic presence and is home to several major UN agencies and a European security body, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

According to Reuters, this has long made Vienna “a hub for diplomatic activity and spying.”

Austria’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was “working with the US authorities on jointly getting to the bottom of this.”

“We take these reports very seriously. The safety of the diplomats sent to Austria and their families is our top priority,” they said.

A US State Department spokesperson said they were “vigorously investigating” the incidents.

In June, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a government-wide review investigating the causes of the mysterious ailment.

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A group of US diplomats and employees with ‘Havana Syndrome’ symptoms say the Biden administration is denying them care and ignoring their evidence

US Embassy in Havana, Cuba
The US Embassy in Havana, where diplomats suffered from an unusual set of symptoms.

  • US diplomats and staffers around the world have reported symptoms of the mysterious “Havana Syndrome.”
  • Twenty-one of them wrote a letter criticizing the Biden admin for not supporting them enough.
  • They say they were not given enough medical support and had their evidence ignored.
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A group of US diplomats and employees who say they’ve suffered from the so-called “Havana Syndrome” have written a letter criticizing the government’s response to them, saying they have been denied proper medical care and had their evidence ignored.

The “Havana Syndrome” is a mysterious condition that has afflicted American staffers around the world, including in Cuba and China, that some experts have attributed to microwave attacks.

In the May 25 letter to the State Department obtained by NBC News, the officials listed a series of what they deemed failings in the US government response to the officials falling ill with the condition. The letter was sent on behalf of 21 officials US officials and their spouses diagnosed with actual or possible Havana syndrome, NBC News reported.

They said the State Department continues to “1) Deny employees and injured family members access to proper medical evaluation and treatment 2) Reject scientific evidence regarding the injuries and treatment needs and 3) Invalidate our injuries and experiences.”

In contrast, they claim, military and intelligence officials with the syndrome “have had a different level and frequency of engagement.”

“After four years of challenges, we were hopeful that the new administration would welcome a partnership with us to ensure those affected receive the care and treatment they need and ensure appropriate care for the new cases,” the staffers wrote.

“Unfortunately, our experience thus far has fallen short of our renewed expectations.”

Last October, CIA and State Department employees told The New York Times they were fighting for proper treatment, with one suggesting a cover-up by then-President Donald Trump’s administration.

Insider has contacted the State Department for comment on the May 25 letter.

The department told NBC News that Secretary of State Antony Blinken was receiving regular updates about the situation and has “made clear that this is a priority for him.” It added that the investigation into the cause of the syndrome was ongoing.

Reports of a mysterious syndrome suffered by US diplomats serving in Havana, Cuba, first began to emerge in 2016.

They reported concussion-like symptoms including headaches, dizziness and nausea, which in some cases have required months of medical treatment. Some reported hearing a loud piercing noise just before the onset of symptoms.

CNN reported that some officials have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, and continue to suffer from symptoms including headaches years after the attack.

There has been a sharp uptick in cases in recent months, with a New York Times report earlier this month citing a total of 130 cases recorded so far.

Two recent cases have occurred in Washington DC, one in the environs of the White House, increasing pressure on the Biden administration to establish what is causing the officials to fall sick.

Politico reported that US intelligence believes that the GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency, may be behind the attacks.

Federal government agencies are attempting to establish the cause of the syndrome. A report by the National Academies of Science last December found that the syndrome was likely being caused by directed microwave radiation. While not attributing any blame for the incidents, the scientists noted that research into microwave attacks had been conducted by the Soviet Union.

A bipartisan group of US senators last week unveiled legislation to provide greater financial support for those with brain injuries caused by the syndrome.

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Military scientists are planning experiments on primates involving pulsed microwaves to look for links to Havana Syndrome, report says

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
People walk past the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba

  • US military scientists are reportedly planning experiments to look for the cause of Havana Syndrome.
  • The scientists plan to expose primates to pulsed microwave radiation and study their brains.
  • Havana Syndrome is the nickname for the mysterious brain injuries US personnel have suffered.
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Scientists at a US military laboratory are planning to experiment on primates to investigate possible causes of the mysterious brain injures, nicknamed “Havana Syndrome,” that American spies, diplomats, officials, and even military personnel have suffered both at home and abroad, according to a report from The New Yorker.

US national security agencies are trying to figure out an effective countermeasure for whatever is causing these episodes, which have involved the sudden and inexplicable appearance of severe headaches, tinnitus, loss of vision or hearing, dizziness, and other issues, The New Yorker wrote Monday.

As part of the experiments to determine what could be behind these incidents, military scientists reportedly plan to expose primates to pulsed microwave radiation and study their brains.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reported last year that “directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy,” including microwave radiation, is “the most plausible mechanism,” according to The New York Times.

That report has led to speculation that the unusual episodes could be the result of some sort of microwave weapon, though that theory has been called into question from some experts.

Cheryl Rofer, a chemist who worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for more than three decades, wrote in a recent Foreign Policy article that “the evidence for microwave effects of the type categorized as Havana syndrome is exceedingly weak.”

An Office of the Director of National Intelligence spokeswoman told The Times that “as of now, we have no definitive information about the cause of these incidents, and it is premature and irresponsible to speculate.” That said, a Biden administration National Security Council spokeswoman said that “we are bringing the US government’s resources to bear to get to the bottom of this.”

Havana Syndrome incidents were first reported among embassy staff in Cuba in 2016. US personnel reported experiencing brain injuries from what’s believed to be directed-energy attacks.

Since then, more than 130 incidents have been reported in not just Cuba, but also China and elsewhere, including the US, though officials have said unrelated conditions may have been conflated with the supposed Havana Syndrome.

Ryan Pickrell contributed to this report.

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A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill to support victims of the mysterious ‘Havana Syndrome’ affecting US diplomats and spies

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
People walk past the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba

  • A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill to support victims of so-called ‘Havana Syndrome.’
  • Their new bill would help support US public servants who experienced brain injuries from directed-energy attacks in Cuba and China.
  • Senators pushing for the legislation include Susan Collins, Mark Warner, and Marco Rubio.
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A group of bipartisan senators have introduced a bill that would help support US public servants who experienced brain injuries from directed-energy attacks in Cuba and China in cases known as “Havana Syndrome.”

The bill was introduced by Senators Susan Collins, Mark Warner, Jeanne Shaheen, and Marco Rubio.

If passed, the HAVANA Act would allow the CIA Director and the Secretary of State to give compensation to people injured by Havana Syndrome, the name given to a mysterious medical condition that has afflicted some US diplomats and spies.

This is a developing story. Please check back for more updates.

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