Federal officials are investigating two incidents in the United States that appeared similar to the mysterious apparent attacks that left overseas personnel suffering from "debilitating" symptoms, CNN reports.
In one incident, a National Security Council official was reportedly sickened near the south side of the White House in November 2020, while in another, a White House official "reported a similar attack" while walking her dog in a Virginia suburb in 2019. They "reported similar symptoms to CIA and State Department personnel impacted overseas, and officials quickly began to investigate the incident as a possible 'Havana syndrome' attack," CNN writes.
Officials have previously been investigating mysterious incidents starting in 2016 in which U.S. personnel in Cuba experienced unexplained symptoms including nausea, ear popping, vertigo, and headaches, which a government study suggested may have been caused by directed microwave energy. Investigators, CNN reports, haven't determined whether these two incidents in the U.S. are connected to ones that occurred overseas or what might have caused them, but the report notes that the "fact that such an attack might have taken place so close to the White House is particularly alarming."
This news comes after The New York Times reported in March that a CIA task force was seeking to expand its inquiry into the "Havana syndrome" incidents.
"CIA is working alongside other government agencies to double down on our efforts to find answers regarding the unexplained global health incidents that have impacted personnel," CIA press secretary Timothy Barrett said.
Last week, Politico reported the Pentagon warned lawmakers "about the growing and urgent threat of directed-energy attacks on U.S. troops in the Middle East and elsewhere," telling them that the suspected energy attacks were "growing across the world." CNN reports, though, that investigators "still haven't completely ruled out the possibility that the symptoms are caused by some kind of naturally occurring phenomenon rather than a weapon."