CIA director’s team member reported Havana Syndrome symptoms during India trip

A CIA official reported signs in line with so-called Havana Syndrome, a mysterious affliction that has struck diplomats, spies and different authorities employees at dwelling and overseas, two sources acquainted with the matter mentioned Monday.

The unidentified worker was touring with CIA Director William Burns throughout a visit to India this month. The worker was instantly examined as a part of a protocol the CIA has established to take care of the mysterious mind signs usually related to Havana Syndrome and is receiving medical remedy, the sources mentioned.

The incident was first reported by CNN.

It’s the newest reported case of a U.S. authorities worker reporting signs related to the mysterious ailment. Havana Syndrome first got here into public view in 2017 after U.S. diplomats and different authorities employees stationed in Cuba reported feeling uncommon bodily sensations after listening to unusual high- and low-pitched sounds. U.S. authorities staff have additionally reported instances in China and the Washington, D.C. space.

Late final month, at the least two U.S. diplomats had been medically evacuated from Vietnam after Havana Syndrome incidents had been reported within the capital metropolis, Hanoi, forward of Vice President Kamala Harris’ arrival.

“The well being and well-being of American public servants is of paramount significance to the administration, and we take extraordinarily critically any report by our personnel of an anomalous well being incident,” a senior administration official mentioned Monday evening. “It’s a high precedence for the U.S. authorities to find out the reason for these incidents as rapidly as doable and that we guarantee any affected people get the care they want.”

Many individuals who’ve skilled Havana Syndrome report experiencing vertigo, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and intense complications. Some describe it as being hit by an invisible blast wave. Some have not been in a position to work.

The India incident has raised questions on whether or not a overseas adversary had deliberately focused the CIA director’s employees, however the sources mentioned the company is unclear what precisely may have precipitated it. The case is one in every of numerous new incidents in current months involving CIA personnel who’ve skilled what U.S. officers name “anomalous well being incidents,” the sources mentioned.

A CIA spokeswoman declined to substantiate the case in India however mentioned the U.S. authorities and the company are taking each incident critically.

“Director Burns has made it a high precedence to make sure officers get the care they want and that we unravel this,” the spokeswoman mentioned. “We have strengthened efforts to find out the origins of the incidents, together with assembling a crew of our perfect specialists — bringing an depth and experience to this concern akin to our efforts to seek out [Osama] bin Laden.”

The spokeswoman added {that a} panel of specialists has been convened from throughout intelligence companies “to work collectively to extend our understanding of the doable mechanisms that might be inflicting” anomalous well being incidents.

Many U.S. officers suspect that the incidents, which have precipitated everlasting mind accidents in some victims, are a results of an assault or a surveillance operation by Russian spies, however the proof is inconclusive.

The Nationwide Academies of Sciences mentioned in a report final yr that the probably reason behind the accidents was directed microwave power, however the conclusion is being debated within the scientific neighborhood.

Final week, Deputy CIA Director David Cohen mentioned that the company is getting nearer to fixing the thriller however that there are limits.

“When it comes to have we gotten nearer, I feel the reply is sure — however not shut sufficient to make analytic judgment that persons are ready for,” he mentioned.

Josh Lederman contributed.

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