Global Affairs

Directed-energy attacks: The invisible threat Congress wants answers on

Going back to 2017, POLITICO has been reporting on government agency officials, spies and diplomats affected by a series of mysterious illnesses. The victims say they suffered from tinnitus, blurry vision, loss of balance and headaches. First documented in employees at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, symptoms related to these incidents have come to be known as “Havana Syndrome.”

While experts have yet to conclusively identify the cause of these symptoms, some scientists believe they could be the result of microwave pulse weapons — a so-called “directed-energy attack” — by a foreign actor.

Some victims — including former CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos, who was working in Moscow at the time of his incident — reported a sudden onset of dizziness, headaches and disorientation followed by long-term neurological issues.

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