White House acknowledges mysterious health attacks occurred in US, reviewing intel on incidents

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“At this level, at this second, we do not know the reason for these incidents, that are each restricted in nature and the overwhelming majority of which have been reported abroad,” mentioned White Home press secretary Jen Psaki, acknowledging the newly reported instances within the U.S.

The Biden administration has launched a assessment of U.S. intelligence to find out if there are different beforehand unreported instances and if there’s a “broader sample,” a Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson confirmed to ABC Information.

Final month, U.S. protection officers briefed lawmakers on the Senate and Home Armed Providers Committees on a number of beforehand unreported incidents of U.S. personnel falling sick after alleged exposures, congressional sources confirmed to ABC Information.

Dozens of Individuals have been recognized with a spread of signs, together with traumatic mind accidents, with a number of describing weird experiences like unusual noises and sensations. The U.S. authorities has acknowledged instances in Cuba, China, Uzbekistan and Russia — however there are media studies of different international locations now, too.

The difficulty has vexed U.S. officers since 2016, when the primary instances had been reported on the embassy in Havana. Whereas there’s nonetheless no definitive reply, the Nationwide Academies of Science in December issued a report, commissioned by the State Division, that concluded the almost definitely supply is “directed, pulsed radio frequency power.”

Among the many doable new instances are additionally reportedly no less than two incidents within the Washington space, in accordance with GQ journal, CNN and others. ABC Information has not independently verified these studies.

Whereas Warner and Rubio praised President Joe Biden’s CIA director, Invoice Burns, for his “renewed give attention to these assaults,” different lawmakers have grow to be publicly exasperated with the manager department’s response.

Throughout a Senate listening to final week, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., criticized the U.S. intelligence group’s “clamp down on data that is out there to Congress, that is out there to the general public.”

That, in flip, has led to a rising variety of studies of alleged incidents with out readability about whether or not or not they’re associated to what’s occurred to U.S. personnel in Cuba, Shaheen mentioned.

“It is not clear whether or not the data we’re getting is right or incorrect,” she informed Director of Nationwide Intelligence Avril Haines. “The horse is out of the barn on this. The data is already on the market, and I feel it behooves us all to attempt to be sure that the data that will get out is correct and that folks perceive what’s occurring.”

Past Cuba, the State Division has beforehand acknowledged incidents in China, Uzbekistan and one redacted nation in an inside report that was declassified and launched in February. That unknown nation is probably going Russia, the place a former CIA official mentioned he was attacked.

That official, Marc Polymeropoulos, informed ABC Information in March that he is now receiving remedy at Walter Reed Medical Heart for a traumatic mind damage as effectively.

However after studies of doable incidents in Syria, the top of U.S. Central Command mentioned he had no proof that was true.

“I’ve discovered no proof of these assaults” in CENTCOM’s area, which incorporates Syria, Gen. Frank McKenzie, CENTCOM commander, informed a Senate panel in April. Throughout the identical listening to, Gen. Stephen Townsend, head of U.S. Africa Command, added he is “not seen that phenomenon in Africa” both.

One regulation enforcement supply dismissed hypothesis about one incident within the Washington space, telling ABC Information, “There isn’t any credible proof to help this.”

Biden’s Nationwide Safety Council is now conducting “a full assessment of intelligence reporting to determine whether or not there could also be beforehand unreported incidents that match a broader sample,” a spokesperson confirmed to ABC Information Friday.

Whereas the Trump administration initially mentioned affected personnel had suffered “well being assaults,” the spokesperson added that whether or not the incidents are an assault and whether or not they’re the work of a overseas actor are nonetheless beneath “lively inquiry.”

ABC Information’ Mike Levine, Trish Turner and Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

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