As mysterious attacks on Americans continue, one former Trump administration official said responding to the issue must be an urgent priority of the new administration.
The so-called directed energy attacks are also referred to as “Havana syndrome,” the name given for illnesses that plagued American diplomatic staff in Cuba beginning in 2016. “Havana syndrome” is characterized by bouts of ringing and pulsing in the ears, headaches and difficulty concentrating and recalling basic words.
Although such attacks have been reported in multiple places, the one that stirred the wrath of former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller occurred in November in Washington, D.C.
According to CNN, a National Security Council official was sickened in an incident that took place on the Ellipse, a large lawn located near the White House.
Attacks such as this are “an act of war,” according to Miller.
“If this plays out and somebody is attacking Americans [even] with a nonlethal weapon … we owe it to our folks that are out there,” the former Trump administration official told Politico.
“We owe it to them to get to the bottom of this.”
Senators are also on board with Miller’s efforts to get the Biden administration to act.
“For nearly five years, we have been aware of reports of mysterious attacks on United States Government personnel in Havana, Cuba, and around the world. This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing,” Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, who is the Senate Intelligence chairman, said in a joint statement with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the top Republican on the panel.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this. We have already held fact finding hearings on these debilitating attacks, many of which result in medically confirmed cases of Traumatic Brain Injury, and will do more,” the senators said.
Military attaches are being targeted at multiple embassies, according to Politico, which cited “a former official and a congressional source briefed on the incidents.”
At the top of the list of incidents being investigated are those near embassies in South American nations, according to the congressional source.
Defense officials reportedly communicated to lawmakers they believed Russia to be the lead suspect in the attacks, but there is currently no direct evidence to substantiate the claim.
Miller, who took office for the final months of the Trump administration, kicked off a high-level investigation after meeting a Defense Department official who was a victim.
“He wasn’t a histrionic-type person, so when he described the attack it was like, ‘yeah, you got hit with this weapon,’” Miller said. “There was no way to deny it.”
Miller started his probe “to create a bureaucratic momentum to get the interagency to take this more seriously.”
Miller told Politico he is “gratified” with the indications that his work did not end with the transition between administrations. The CIA has begun looking into the attacks.
Simone Ledeen, a former Pentagon official under Trump with previous experience investigating directed energy attacks said this issue is too important to be left behind.
“This was one of the missions that absolutely needed to continue,” Ledeen said. “I hope the new team picks this up — it is actually very important as Americans are clearly being targeted.”
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