If these attacks happened last year, why are they just now investigating them? Shouldn't they have done that as soon as the attacks took place?
US investigating possible mysterious directed energy attack near White HouseMultiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN that while the Pentagon and other agencies probing the matter have reached no clear conclusions on what happened, the fact that such an attack might have taken place so close to the White House is particularly alarming.
Defense officials briefed lawmakers on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees on the matter earlier this month, including on the incident near the White House. That incident, which occurred near the Ellipse, the large oval lawn on the south side of the White House, sickened one National Security Council official, according to multiple current and former US officials and sources familiar with the matter.
In a separate 2019 episode, a White House official reported a similar attack while walking her dog in a Virginia suburb just outside Washington, GQ reported last year.
Those sickened reported similar symptoms to CIA and State Department personnel impacted overseas, and officials quickly began to investigate the incident as a possible "Havana syndrome" attack. That name refers to unexplained symptoms that US personnel in Cuba began experiencing in late 2016 -- a varying set of complaints that includes ear popping, vertigo, pounding headaches and nausea, sometimes accompanied by an unidentified "piercing directional noise."
Rumors have long swirled around Washington about similar incidents within the United States. While the recent episodes around Washington appear similar to the previous apparent attacks affecting diplomats, CIA officers and other US personnel serving in Cuba, Russia and China, investigators have not determined whether the puzzling incidents at home are connected to those that have occurred abroad or who may be behind them, sources tell CNN.
Defense officials who briefed lawmakers said it was possible Russia was behind the attacks, but they did not have enough information to say for sure. Another former US official involved in the investigation at the time said China was also among the suspects.The US has struggled to understand these attacks since 2016 and 2017, when diplomatic and intelligence personnel in Cuba first began reporting alarming symptoms that seemed to appear out of the blue. Intelligence and defense officials have been reluctant to speak publicly about the strange incidents, and some who were impacted have complained publicly that the CIA did not take the matter seriously enough, at least initially.
The attacks eventually led to a dramatic drawdown of staff at the outpost in Havana under the Trump administration. Personnel in Russia and China reported similar, unexplained incidents. Though there's no consensus as to what causes the symptoms, one State Department-sponsored study found they likely were the result of microwave energy attacks.
Federal agencies are investigating at least two possible incidents on US soil, including one near the White House in November of last year, that appear similar to mysterious, invisible attacks that have led to debilitating symptoms for dozens of US personnel abroad.amp.cnn.com