As the White House now investigates strange recent illnesses in Washington, D.C., potentially tied to "Havana Syndrome," intelligence reports are surfacing of "microwave system weapons" being used on U.S. officials overseas for decades.
The reports come from a work injury lawsuit brought forward by retired National Security Agency counterintelligence officer Mike Beck, who developed a rare form of Parkinson's disease his lawyer argues was caused by a high-tech weapon, according to The Guardian.
"The reality is that this has been an intelligence community issue for decades," says Mark Zaid, a lawyer representing both Beck and Havana Syndrome victims.
Havana Syndrome has became a prominent ailment among U.S. diplomats in Cuba and China in recent years as victims have reported vertigo, nausea, and ringing ears, but recent cases in Washington, D.C., have the White House and Senate Intelligence Committee concerned about a high-tech weapon being used by U.S. adversaries.
"For nearly five years, we have been aware of reports of mysterious attacks on U.S. government personnel in Havana, Cuba, and around the world," Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote in a joint statement Friday.
"This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this. We have already held fact finding hearings on these debilitating attacks, many of which result in medically confirmed cases of Traumatic Brain Injury, and will do more."
But there is evidence the attacks go back decades and not just years, The Guardian reported.
"The National Security Agency confirms that there is intelligence information from 2012 associating the hostile country to which Mr. Beck traveled in the late 1990's, with a high powered microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate or kill an enemy, over time, and without leaving evidence," a declassified NSA statement from Beck's work injury compensation case read, per the report.
"The 2012 intelligence information indicated that this weapon is designed to bathe a target's living quarters in microwaves, causing numerous physical effects, including a damaged nervous system."
The National Academy of Sciences reported in December on the number of CIA and U.S. State Department officials who have suffered from "effects of directed, pulsed radio frequency energy."
The Pentagon last week has launched an inquiry into suspected microwave attacks on U.S. troops in the Middle East.
Beck is not permitted to reveal where his attack is alleged to have come from.
"It was a sensitive assignment," Beck told The Guardian. "So we knew what we were getting into from the standpoint of the hostile country being a critical threat environment."
Beck developed temporary symptoms immediately years ago, but later he and his partner both developed the same, rare form of Parkinson's.
"I've worked in counter-intelligence for the predominance of my career," Beck told The Guardian. "I thought this is not coincidental that we're both presenting the same variant of Parkinson's at the same time. This is not happenstance."
His partner has since died of a heart attack.
Beck is still fighting for worker's compensation and others experiencing symptoms are struggled to get adequate treatment, according to the report. Recent events at the White House and with the Senate Intelligence Committee's attention might help change that.
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