More cases of 'Havana Syndrome' have just been reported at American embassies in Geneva and Paris, WSJ reports. Officials employed at both facilities have been afflicted by the neurological attacks, and at least one victim was evacuated back to the US for treatment.
Like most prior reports on Havana Syndrome attacks, this one comes with a significant delay: the attacks were first reported internally last summer, and quickly made their way to the State Department back in Washington. At least three cases of the syndrome were reported in Geneva, and there was at least one in Paris, WSJ said, bringing the total number of Havana Syndrome victims to close to 200.
While the Biden Administration's State Department insists on calling the attacks "anomalous health incidents," the CIA doesn't mince words. The "attacks" continue to befuddle America's best analysts. Nobody has a clear idea of what's causing them, or who might be behind it. Scientists have blamed crickets in Havana, and - as we mentioned above - those dastardly Russians. Yet, five years after the attacks started, the US appears no closer to the truth.
These attacks began back in 2016 and 2017 when American and Canadian diplomats first reported symptoms while working at the American embassy in Havana.
The first reports of the attacks didn't reach the press until months later.
The State Department refused to comment on the latest attacks. But back in November, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the administration was "intently focused" on getting to the bottom of these incidents. His comments came after VP Kamala Harris had a flight to Vietnam delayed after an alleged incident of the mysterious syndrome.
Havana Syndrome, which has alternatively been blamed on crickets, and Russia, is a mysterious phenomenon that has afflicted personnel - both spies and legitimate diplomats, according to media reports - at embassies around the world, including Cuba, China, Vietnam, Western Europe, South America and elsewhere.
Symptoms include dizziness, cognitive difficulties, tinnitus, vertigo and trouble seeing, hearing and with balance. Elsewhere in Europe, cases have been reported in Serbia, Germany and Austria.
The attacks have inflicted "profound" physiological and psychological harm to the victims, who have described hearing loss, debilitating headaches, and even some lasting brain damage, for those who have been targeted in these attacks.
The Biden Administration has place a new man in charge of solving the mystery: Jonathan Moore, a career diplomat, was named the new head of the State Department's Health Incident Response task force back in November. Diplomats around the world better hope he's up to the job, because if this keeps up, working in an American embassy will become one of the world's most dangerous professions. And let's not forget: many of those who have been targeted were spies working not for the State Department, but the CIA.