CIA has evacuated one of its intelligence officers from Serbia after he demonstrated an array of neurological symptoms consistent with the infamous Havana Syndrome in recent weeks as more cases of the mysterious neurological condition continue to affect American spies and diplomats, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
According to the US Central Intelligence Agency, the incident with the officer in the Balkans, which hasn’t been previously reported, is the latest in a widening series of attacks on American diplomatic personnel expanding to more and more countries.
Dr. James Giordano, neurology professor at Georgetown University who advises US officials, pointed that many other reliable cases have been reported in the US and around the world in the last 60-90 days based on validated health indicators.
The affected personnel demonstrate a cocktail of symptoms consistent with a neurological disease or injury, the root cause of which remains unexplained, including persistent dizziness, memory loss and other symptoms.
Earlier this month, a member of CIA Director William Burns’ team, who was traveling with him to India reported symptoms consistent with Havana syndrome, while Vice President Harris delayed her trip to Hanoi in August after at least two US diplomats in Vietnam had to be evacuated after incidents involving Havana syndrome.
Following the Burns’ incident, CIA spokesperson said the agency does not comment on specific incidents or officers stressing they have protocols in place for when individuals report possible anomalous health incidents.
The spokesperson also added that CIA director has made it a top priority to ensure the agency gets to the bottom of this and that officers get the care they need.
The first documented instances of the illness occurred in the Cuban capital Havana, where more than two dozen people at the US Embassy were sickened in 2016 and had to receive medical attention once back in the US.
Several hundred American diplomats, intelligence officers and military personnel in China, Austria, Vietnam, Russia and some African countries have since suffered from the unknown malaise. Despite the number of theories being under consideration, CIA suspects the attacks arise from microwaves or another type of energy beam.
Dr. Giordano believes the cause could be the employment of an electronic surveillance system with unusual side effects, some form of ultrasonic or acoustic device or a discrete form of disruptive instrument such as rapidly-pulsed microwave or a laser-based system.
In an effort to get to the bottom of the mysterious illness, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a memo to DoD employees on September 15 to report any symptoms of the so-called Havana Syndrome, advising the affected personnel to immediately remove themselves, coworkers, and/or family member from the area and report the incident.