The State Department reports that as many as 200 American assigned to embassies around the world have fell victim to the so-called “Havana Syndrome” first identified in people who worked at the US consulate in Cuba, NBC News reports.
The symptoms are believed to be caused by a directed energy beam pointed to US consulates and embassies that causes physical and neurological pain and discomfort. Incidents have been reported from countries on every continent except Antarctica, and symptoms and after-effects can last hours, days or weeks.
Half of the people reporting the condition work for the CIA overseas. One was a baby who resided with his parents at US government site in Kyrgyzstan, where multiple Americans have reported symptoms. At least two dozen people at the consulate in Vienna, Austria have reported symptoms.
FBI officials who have traveled overseas have also reported symptoms. In a statement, an FBI spokesperson said: “In keeping with DOJ policy, the FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of specific investigations. However, we will direct you to recent statements made by Director Wray in testimony before Congress where he underscored the protection, health, and well-being of U.S. government personnel is the highest priority; we view all U.S. government personnel who have these symptoms as potential victims and will treat them as such; and we care deeply about our colleagues in the federal government.”
US officials cannot pinpoint a source from which the directed energy beam may be originating from. The diversity of location, however, suggests that the source of the symptoms may be coming from a portable unit.
A Defense Department spokesman said: “The Department is heavily engaged on this issue as a part of the [National Security Council]-led interagency process across the federal government to address anomalous health incidents, and is fully committed to determining both the causes and source. The safety, health and welfare of our personnel remains a top priority for the Department.”