German police are investigating a “suspected sonic weapon attack” on staff at the US Embassy in Berlin, the latest in a growing number of “Havana Syndrome” incidents around the world.
The police statement, that the investigation had been underway since August, was released on Friday in response to a report by Der Spiegel, who said at least two cases were investigated based on evidence provided by the U.S. Embassy.
Around 200 cases of Havana Syndrome – so named because the first cases were reported in the Cuban capital in 2016 – have now been reported worldwide, with incidents in China, India and even Washington DC. The victims were mostly US diplomats and intelligence officers, although Canada has also reported cases to its Havana embassy.
Austrian authorities have also said they are working with the United States to investigate another cluster of cases among U.S. Embassy staff in Vienna.
The syndrome describes a range of symptoms, including short-term dizziness and nausea; migraines and longer-term memory loss.
The CIA, the State Department and the Pentagon are investigating. About 100 of the cases have involved CIA agents, and the agency’s director, William Burns, said in July that there was a “very strong possibility” that the symptoms were caused deliberately, and pointed to Russia. as a possible culprit. Moscow has denied any responsibility.
When Burns visited India in September, a member of his team developed symptoms consistent with Havana Syndrome and required medical attention. Burns was “ranting” about the incident, CNN reported at the time.
Joe Biden on Friday signed a law guaranteeing better health care and better support for victims of the syndrome, which he called “abnormal health incidents”, without calling them attacks.
Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, which receives confidential information about the investigation, said the cause was still unknown.
“It is possible that not all of these incidents, not all of these anomalies, were attributable to the same cause,” Schiff told reporters last month.
“What is the cause and what is the motivation, what is the intention, I think these are still very open questions. There are certainly many that seem quite deliberate. But I think we are getting closer to some. answers and let’s bring in some new tools to help us get those answers, so we’re going to find a solution.
If it turned out that a foreign government was involved, he said, âI am also convinced that there will be very serious repercussions. “