The Washington PostThe Washington Post

'Havana syndrome' not caused by energy weapon or foreign adversary, intelligence review finds

By Shane Harris and John Hudson

02 Mar 2023 · 10 min read

Editor's Note

Intelligence agencies have denied use of 'energy waves' by foreign adversaries (including Russia) to inflict US agency personnel with the 'Havana Syndrome'. The Washington Post unpacks the findings.

The mysterious ailment known as "Havana syndrome" did not result from the actions of a foreign adversary, according to an intelligence report that shatters a long-disputed theory that hundreds of U.S. personnel were targeted and sickened by a clandestine enemy wielding energy waves as a weapon.

The new intelligence assessment caps a years-long effort by the CIA and several other U.S. intelligence agencies to explain why career diplomats, intelligence officers and others serving in U.S. missions around the world experienced what they described as strange and painful acoustic sensations. The effects of this mysterious trauma shortened careers, racked up large medical bills and in some cases caused severe physical and emotional suffering.

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