Berlin police probe ‘sonic weapon attack’ at U.S. Embassy
German police said Friday that they are investigating an “alleged sound weapon attack” against U.S. Embassy employees in Berlin. This is the latest in a long-running string of attacks that U.S. officials remain unable to explain.
In August, The Wall Street Journal reported that at least two U.S. officials in Germany came down with symptoms aligned with other cases of “Havana Syndrome” that continue to plague U.S. diplomats, spies and service members around the globe.
Berlin Police confirmed that their investigation into attacks started in the same month as U.S. officials reported symptoms, but did not provide any further information according to Reuters. In response to Der Spiegel’s report, the police released a statement on Friday.
Due security and privacy concerns, the State Department won’t discuss specific reports. However, a spokesperson for the department said that it takes each report “extremely seriously” and is working to ensure that employees affected receive the care they require .”
The reported attacks in Germany are part a wave of recent attacks.
Reports of the syndrome started to surface in 2016 early reports by U.S. officials stationed in Havana, Cuba at the U.S. Embassy. Many of the symptoms that debilitated officials began to manifest, including headaches and vertigo. Some cases can last for years.
Since initial diagnoses in 2016,, the number of U.S. officials reporting symptoms around the world, including on U.S. soil has continued to rise.
In May, reports revealed information about two U.S. officials struck by Havana syndrome near the White House.
In August, a “possible anomalous health incident” — which some believed to be a Havana syndrome case — was reported by the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and briefly delayed Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Vietnam.
An CIA officer who was traveling in India earlier this month reported symptoms to Bill Burns, the CIA Director.
Some estimate that more 200 officials were targeted in the attacks. These attacks have affected officials at the State Department and Defense Department as well as the CIA.
“As part the National Security Council’s interagency response effort, and in coordination with our allies across the U.S. Government partners, we vigorously investigate reports of [anomalous health incidents], wherever they are reported,” a spokesperson for the State Department said. “The interagency is working actively to identify the source of these incidents and whether or not they can be attributed to foreign actors and is focusing on providing care for those who are affected .
Many have suspected “Havana Syndrome” to be caused by microwave or directed-energy attacks. The December National Academy of Sciences report found that symptoms are consistent with directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy (RF), but the U.S. government is still trying to determine the exact cause.
” I feel a strong sense of humility about being able give you a best guess because it could all be wrong,” House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff (California Democrat) recently stated to reporters.
Mr. There could be many causes for the symptoms and officials are still wary of calling the incidents attacks.
President Biden signed Friday the HAVANA Act into law, which Congress passed last week to provide financial assistance and medical care to victims.
“Addressing such incidents has been a top-priority for my administration,” Mr. Biden stated. “We will bring to bear all resources of the U.S. Government in order to provide first-class medical treatment to those who are affected and to find the root cause ,”
“Protecting Americans, all those who serve our nation, is our first duty. We will do our best to provide for our personnel as well as their families,” he stated.
To the dismay of some members, Mr. Biden didn’t explicitly refer to the incidents as attacks in his statement.
” I’m extremely disappointed that President Biden refuses to call them attacks and instead refers to them as “anomalous medical incidents”,” said Rep. Michael T. McCaul, a top Republican on House Foreign Affairs Committee.