Tags: cuba | sonic | weapon | investigation

Cuba Sonic Weapons or Something Else Behind Injuries of 16 Americans?

Image: Cuba Sonic Weapons or Something Else Behind Injuries of 16 Americans?

An exterior view of the U.S. Embassy is seen in Havana, Cuba, June 19, 2017. (Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 25 August 2017 11:19 AM

U.S. officials are investigating a mystery in Cuba and are trying to determine if sonic weapons were used against diplomats at homes provided to them by the Cuban government, leaving at least 16 with serious injuries.

The State Department said Thursday that at least 16 Americans were injured, and an investigation is ongoing to determine the perpetrator, The New York Times reported.

Diplomats started complaining about hearing loss, nausea symptoms, headaches, to balance disorders starting in late 2016, CBS News reported. U.S. and Canadian diplomats working in country's capital of Havana have been diagnosed with conditions including mild traumatic brain injury and possible damage to the central nervous system.

Senior State Department officials told CNN that they believe sophisticated devices that operated outside the range of audible sound were deployed either inside or outside diplomats' residences in Havana.

Environmental factors or human error in surveillance also may be to blame for the injuries, CNN noted.

"There's 100 percent certainty that American diplomats were under Cuban surveillance. There's nowhere near that certainty that the Cubans were aiming sonic weapons at American diplomats. It could be harassment, but it's kind of weird," James Lewis, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CNN, explaining his theory that surveillance equipment "screwed up."

The State Department told CBS News that even though they don't know a source of the attacks, it reminded Cuban authorities of their responsibility to protect diplomats. The U.S. expelled two Cuban embassy officials on May 23, the network wrote.

"We hold the Cuban authorities responsible for finding out who is carrying out these health attacks on not just our diplomats but, as you've seen now, there are other cases with other diplomats involved," Rex Tillerson, the U.S. secretary of state, said earlier, CBS News noted.

Cuba rejected the idea that they have been involved in attacking Americans earlier this month, stating, according to CBS News, that it "has never permitted, nor will permit, that Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, with no exception."

Dr. Hung Jeffrey Kim, a neurologist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, told CNN that the diplomats were likely exposed to low frequency sound because it can travel much farther than ultrasound.

National Institutes of Health toxicologist Dr. Scott Masten told CNN that, "At certain amplitude infrasound can cause physiological effects -- it can change heart rate, respiratory rates, blood pressure."

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U.S. officials are investigating a mystery in Cuba and are trying to determine if sonic weapons were used against diplomats at homes provided to them by the Cuban government, leaving at least 16 with serious injuries.
cuba, sonic, weapon, investigation
411
2017-19-25
Friday, 25 August 2017 11:19 AM
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