Mysterious sonic attacks on U.S. diplomats living in Havana initially singled out American spies living in the country, The Associated Press has learned. Officially, the Trump administration has described the victims as being "members of the diplomatic community," although "behind the scenes … investigators immediately started searching for explanations in the darker, rougher world of spycraft and counterespionage, given that so many of the first reported cases involved intelligence workers posted to the U.S. embassy," AP writes.
In September, the U.S. announced plans to pull 60 percent of its staff off the island in response to the high-tech attacks. The futuristic assault began last fall when U.S. diplomats mysteriously started to lose their hearing. The U.S. launched an investigation and determined that the diplomats had been attacked by a weapon that operated outside the range of audible sound and was covertly placed either inside or outside their homes. At least 21 people have been injured with symptoms including "mild traumatic brain injury, permanent hearing loss, loss of balance, severe headaches, and brain swelling," The New York Times reports.
AP has floated the possibility that a third party, such as Russia or North Korea, is responsible for the attacks: "The most obvious motive for attacking Americans in Havana would be to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Cuba," AP writes. "If that's the case, the strategy appears to be succeeding." Read the full report here.