More than 130 US personnel within the CIA, State Department, Defense Department, and other agencies have suffered ailments, including what could be permanent brain damage, as a result of mysterious incidents that began five years ago—far more than the 60 cases that have been publicly disclosed. That's according to the New York Times, which spoke with 20 current and former officials within government. Though some suspect a foreign power, perhaps Russia, is targeting officials with a directed energy weapon, intelligence agencies have not determined a cause of the incidents in which personnel often detect sound, pressure, or heat, accompanied by physical symptoms, including head pain, hearing trouble, nausea, and dizziness. Cases of "Havana Syndrome" were first identified in Cuba in 2016. Cases have since been reported in numerous countries and the US.
CBS News reports more than a dozen CIA officers serving on three continents have returned to the US for treatment this year. The Times describes one incident occurring within the last two weeks. "As of now, we have no definitive information about the cause of these incidents, and it is premature and irresponsible to speculate," a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence tells the Times. The Biden administration's investigation into the incidents "now involves all 18 intelligence agencies as well as the Pentagon and State Department," per Politico. "We are bringing the US government's resources to bear to get to the bottom of this," a White House rep tells CBS, adding the National Security Council "is coordinating a full review of intelligence reporting to ascertain whether there may be previously unreported incidents that fit a broader pattern." (Read more Havana syndrome stories.)