- Last year in Miami several government officials reported strange symptoms
- Effects were akin to ‘Havana Syndrome’ reported by diplomats in Cuba in 2016
- Sudden splitting headaches, loss of balance and ringing in ears were reported
- Also in 2020, a senior National Security Council official reported the effects
- He was walking to his car from the south lawn of the White House
- And in 2019, another NSC official felt the symptoms walking a dog in Alexandria
- In Europe, the U.S. and Syria, members of the military have reported symptoms
- On Monday three current and former officials said the Russians were suspected
- They told Politico that Russia’s GRU – foreign intel unit – could be behind attacks
Russia’s infamous foreign intelligence agency may be behind a series of strange sonic attacks on U.S. government officials – one of which was even reported while an official walked across the White House lawn – according to a new report on Monday.
Three current and former officials told Politico that the finger of blame was being pointed with increasing conviction towards Russia’s GRU.
William Burns, the CIA Director, is now receiving daily briefings on the attacks, the site reported, in a sign of the level of concern at the highest levels of government
The attacks, which began in Havana in 2016, have been reported by U.S. officials and troops in Syria, Europe and the United States.
Effects include residual headaches, loss of balance and hearing, ringing and pressure in the ears, and sometimes long-term brain damage.
In Cuba as many as 50 people reported the symptoms, and a report commissioned by the State Department and released in December pointed to ‘directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy’ as the most probable cause.
Last year, Politico reported, a senior National Security Council official reported suddenly feeling the symptoms while walking to his car from the south lawn of the White House known as the Ellipse.
Also last year, in Miami, ‘several’ federal employees reported symptoms.
In 2019, in Alexandria, Virginia, another member of the NSC felt the effects while out walking a dog.
‘It looks, smells and feels like the GRU,’ said one former national security official involved in the investigation.
‘When you are looking at the landscape, there are very few people who are willing, capable and have the technology. It’s pretty simple forensics.’
A current official briefed on the probe told Politico that GRU agents ‘are the only ones [we] know have the capability to attack our people like that on our soil.’
Israel and China may also have the technology, but neither country operates in all of the locations where the incidents were reported, or has shown the desire to attack Americans in this way, another former national security official said.
The news comes amid concern from the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, running from Texas to New Jersey, which was held to ransom from Friday until Monday. A group named DarkSide, believed to be based in Russia, is thought to have been involved.
President Joe Biden on Monday said there was no evidence that official Russian agencies were involved, but if the ransomware was in Russia ‘they have some responsibility’.
Investigations into the sonic attacks are being carried out by multiple U.S. federal agencies and organizations.
Late last year, then-acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller spoke to a combat veteran who suspected he had been attacked and was seeking medical attention.
Miller told that the suspected attacks amount to ‘an act of war.’
Two Pentagon officials briefed members of the House Armed Services Committee about the suspected attacks in a classified setting in April.
In a statement last month, the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee praised Burns for giving a ‘renewed focus’ on the incidents, known as ‘directed-energy attacks’.
Burns has only been in the role since March.
Members of Congress are asking top Biden administration officials to disclose more information to the public.