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Intelligence Community Investigating Increase In 'Havana Syndrome' Incidents Involving CIA Operatives

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Intelligence Community is investigating what appears to be an increase in suspected radio frequency attacks on U.S. officials, impacting their health.

Former Senior CIA Intelligence Officer Marc Polymeropoulos says a work trip to Moscow about three years ago changed his life and ended his 26-year career.

"I awoke in the middle of the night. It was incredible case of vertigo. The room was spinning. I had terrible headaches. I felt like I was going to be nauseous. It started a long medical journey of a headache that never goes away," he said.

His headaches and nausea were consistent with symptoms that have been referred to as Havana syndrome, since cases were first reported by U.S. embassy and intelligence officials in Cuba in 2016.

Scientists suspect the cause of the symptoms are directed, radio frequency energy.

"This is really a silent injury, a silent wound," Polymeropoulos said.

And the suspected attacks have not stopped.

In fact, CBS News has learned more than a dozen CIA officers serving in multiple overseas locations have returned to the U.S. this year after reporting similar symptoms. Sources say the new suspected incidents occurred in the early months of 2021 – one as recently as March.

Lawmakers have raised concern about what's been described as an increasing pattern of suspected attacks. The Senate Intelligence Committee is vowing to get to the bottom of the issue and the technology responsible.

"The message going forward is to keep pressing on this. But I have some faith finally that that the current senior officials are taking this seriously," Polymeropoulos said.

Polymeropoulos said he feels past CIA leadership did not take the issue seriously enough.

He believes that's now changing, especially as more officers and diplomats have fallen sick.

The Russian government is widely suspected to be involved, but the U.S. government has not officially blamed anyone for the incidents.


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