A steady increase in mysterious Havana Syndrome attacks on American spies and diplomats has left administration officials concerned and frustrated, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The latest case sparked the CIA to evacuate an intelligence officer serving in Serbia. The officer had suffered serious injuries consistent with the syndrome.
The mystery attacks leave people with headaches, dizziness, and memory loss. Scores of State Department officials, CIA officers, and their families have been affected. Experts studying the illness are still struggling to find evidence to back up the leading theory that microwave attacks are being launched by Russian agents.
"In the past 60 to 90 days, there have been a number of other reported cases" on U.S. soil and globally, said Dr. James Giordano, a Georgetown University professor of neurology who is advising the U.S. government on the issue. "They are seen as valid reports with verified health indicators."
According to the Journal the attacks have left some professional diplomats and spies reluctant to accept posts overseas.
"The lights are blinking red now," said Marc Polymeropoulos, a veteran CIA operations officer who retired from the CIA in 2019 due to persisting symptoms he suffered following a 2017 visit to Moscow. "This is a crisis for VIP travel, officers overseas."
The Journal noted the CIA insisted it is doing all it can to protect the safety of its officers.
"We take each report we receive extremely seriously and are working to ensure that affected employees get the care and support they need," a State Department spokesman said.
Vice President Kamala Harris’ arrival in Vietnam in August was temporarily delayed after State Department officials made her aware of a "possible anomalous health incident." The Journal noted the terminology is the government’s formal name for the Havana Syndrome.
And The Washington Post reported on Friday that the CIA has recalled its Vienna station chief amid criticism of his handling of intelligence officers and diplomats falling ill with the syndrome.
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