Headaches, amnesia, nausea: more and more employees of US embassies are dealing with mysterious brain ailments. The so-called Havana syndrome recently killed four employees in Paris and Geneva. “We are going to get to the bottom of this,” said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
US intelligence agencies are increasingly concerned about the Havana syndrome. The neurological complaints can last for months and sometimes even seem permanent. The victims are CIA agents, diplomats and embassy employees from all over the world. About 200 have been counted since the first case in Havana in 2016. In addition to Paris and Geneva, the syndrome also appeared last year during missions in Germany, Colombia, India and Vietnam.
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The cause is a complete mystery. An attack or harassment from a hostile country is increasingly seen as likely. And then everyone points to Russia. In recent years, the country has been blamed for cyber espionage and the assassination attempts of Sergei Skripal and Alexei Navalny.
The testimonials come from all over the world, but are always the same. Victims heard strange noises and suffered from dizziness, memory loss and headaches. “Some people heard grinding noises, others described it as vibrations in their head,” a former senior diplomat told The Wall Street Journal. “To drive you crazy,” he says.
The outside world also thought they were a bit crazy, but US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken now wants to get to the bottom of the matter. One of the theories is that someone is pointing a microwave device at the embassies.
According to Russia, these ‘microwave weapons’ are a myth and China is not pleased with the suspicions either. Blinken admitted to MSNBC that to date Americans do not know what exactly happened and who is responsible. “We are working overtime with the entire government to find out.”
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