Directed Energy Attacks on U.S. Diplomats Linked to Russian Intelligence Unit

Over 100 individuals have been affected by Havana Syndrome, experiencing symptoms such as headaches, vertigo, tinnitus, nausea, and potential permanent disabilities.
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  • 08:04 AM, April 1, 2024
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Directed Energy Attacks on U.S. Diplomats Linked to Russian Intelligence Unit
Representative image. @BBC

A collaborative investigation has unearthed evidence tying the Havana Syndrome to Russia's military intelligence agency, with GRU Unit 29155 allegedly deploying directed energy weapons against overseas U.S. government personnel.

The investigation was carried out by The Insider, together with Der Spiegel and 60 Minutes.

The Havana Syndrome first captured global attention in 2017 when more than 20 U.S. officials stationed in Cuba reported experiencing peculiar medical ailments while in Havana. Since then, over 100 cases have been documented in locations spanning from Guangzhou, China, to the heart of Washington, DC. Among the victims are American diplomats, intelligence operatives, military officers, contractors, and, shockingly, even their spouses, children, and pets. The investigation revealed that the first attacks actually transpired in Frankfurt, Germany, as far back as 2014.

The attacks, executed through what The Insider describes as "directed energy weapons," are the product of extensive scientific research tracing back to Soviet-era military intelligence initiatives. The resultant health repercussions can be profound, ranging from chronic headaches, vertigo, and tinnitus to insomnia, nausea, and even permanent blindness or hearing loss. Many victims have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, compelling them to prematurely exit government service.

One poignant case highlighted in the report is that of a nurse identified only as Joy, the wife of an American Embassy official previously stationed in Tbilisi. Joy suffered a debilitating attack outside her residence in 2021 and has since endured relentless headaches. Despite undergoing multiple surgeries, her condition continues to deteriorate, with her neurosurgeon unable to offer a definitive explanation.

Crucially, The Insider, in collaboration with its partners, managed to geolocate operatives associated with Unit 29155 to various global hotspots just preceding or coinciding with reported health incidents. Unlike other branches of Russia's intelligence apparatus, Unit 29155 is purportedly dedicated exclusively to executing violent military operations.

The investigation further disclosed that senior members of this unit received commendations and promotions for their involvement in developing "non-lethal acoustic weapons," a term prevalent in Russian intelligence and military literature to describe directed energy devices utilizing sound and radio frequencies.

A former CIA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, asserted that Unit 29155's mission revolves around "finding, fixing, and finishing" targets, all in service of Vladimir Putin's geopolitical ambitions. Many of the targeted individuals possessed expertise or operational experience in regions of strategic interest to Russia, such as Georgia and Ukraine, where Putin perceives U.S. involvement as a threat to his regime's stability.

The report raises concerns regarding the U.S. government's response to these attacks. Despite mounting evidence implicating a foreign adversary, American intelligence agencies have adopted a dismissive stance, as evidenced by a redacted report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in March 2023. Victims of the attacks express feelings of betrayal, accusing their government of downplaying their plight.

"What this investigation has shown is that either the intelligence community is incapable of carrying out its most basic function, or it has worked to cover up the facts and gaslight injured employees and the public," one victim was quoted as saying by the report.

In 2021, the Biden Administration enacted the Havana Act, offering substantial compensation to confirmed victims of AHIs. However, speculation abounds regarding potential motives behind the government's reluctance to fully acknowledge the origins of these attacks. Some suggest that revealing the truth could provoke a diplomatic crisis with Moscow, while others fear it might undermine recruitment efforts for intelligence agencies.

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