'Havana syndrome' possibly linked to Russian intelligence, media report finds

US embassy in Havana, Cuba
US embassy in Havana, Cuba Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews
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A new joint investigation by The Insider, Der Spiegel and CBS’s 60 Minutes suggests the mysterious syndrome, which has affected several US diplomats in recent years, is linked to a Russian intelligence unit.

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A joint investigation by several media outlets has concluded that "Havana syndrome", the mysterious illness that has affected American diplomats in recent years 'may be linked to the use of sonic weapons by Russian secret services'.

The report says it "has uncovered evidence suggesting that unexplained anomalous health incidents, also known as Havana syndrome, may have their origin in the use of directed energy weapons wielded by members of Russian GRU Unit 29155".

Russian GRU Unit 29155 is responsible for foreign operations and has been blamed for several incidents abroad, including the attempted poisoning of the Russian defector Sergei Skripal in the UK in 2018.

First reported in 2016 when US diplomats in Cuba’s capital reported falling ill and hearing piercing sounds at night, Havana syndrome prompted speculation a foreign entity was attacking US personnel using an unspecified sonar weapon.

Other symptoms including bloody noses, headaches and vision problems were later reported by embassy staff in China, Europe and the US capital, Washington DC.

The investigation, covered by The Insider, Der Spiegel, and CBS's 60 Minutes, indicated that sonic weapons used by Russian agents might have targeted the impacted diplomats.

The Kremlin has denied the accusations.

A report by US authorities last year said it was unlikely a foreign power was responsible for these symptoms.

The phenomenon takes its name from the capital of Cuba, where the first case was believed to have been detected in 2016 - but the new investigation suggests it may have been in Germany in 2014.

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