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CIA says most cases of 'Havana Syndrome' probably not caused by foreign enemies

CIA says most cases of 'Havana Syndrome' probably not caused by foreign enemies
Some lawmakers in Congress and senior administration officials have argued that Havana Syndrome could be a targeting effort by Russia against U.S. personnel, but investigators so far have found no significant evidence to support that possibility. File Photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- "Havana syndrome," the name given to mysterious ailments experienced by American diplomats in Cuba and other locations overseas, is unlikely caused by a foreign adversary, according to a report by the Central Intelligence Agency.

In the assessment, the CIA said the mysterious ailment can probably be attributed to environmental causes, undiagnosed medical conditions or stress.

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The intelligence agency also noted that about two dozen of the 1,000 cases remain unexplained and could still be the result of actions by foreign actors.

The symptoms of Havana Syndrome include sensations such as ringing in the ears and have been reported by American intelligence, diplomatic and military personnel on nearly every continent. Early cases were reported by personnel in Cuba.

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"We are pursuing this complex issue with analytic rigor, sound tradecraft and compassion, and have dedicated intensive resources to this challenge," CIA Director William Burns told The Washington Post.

"While we have reached some significant interim findings, we are not done. We will continue the mission to investigate these incidents and provide access to world-class care for those who need it."

Some lawmakers in Congress and senior administration officials have argued that Havana Syndrome could be a targeting effort by Russia against U.S. personnel, but investigators so far have found no significant evidence to support that possibility.

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Marc Polymeropoulos, a former intelligence agent who experienced symptoms while in Moscow in 2017, is urging the CIA to keep looking for the cause.

"It took us 10 years to find Osama bin Laden," Polymeropoulos said, according to The New York Times. "I would just urge patience and continued investigation by the intelligence community and the Department of Defense."

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