The U.S. Suspects Russia Used a Microwave Weapon Against Americans. Does It Even Exist?

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    The U.S. Suspects Russia Used a Microwave Weapon Against Americans. Does It Even Exist?

    a week in havana, cuba

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    • The U.S. government believes Russian military intelligence is behind a series of mysterious attacks on U.S. diplomats and military personnel.
    • The attacks reportedly cause pain, loss of balance, and debilitating injuries that last for weeks or months.
    • The U.S. government believes the weapon uses microwave radiation, but it’s unclear how such a weapon would work.

    The U.S. government reportedly believes Russia’s military intelligence organization may be behind a series of attacks against U.S. military and diplomatic personnel.

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    Officials suspect Russia’s GRU spy agency is somehow using a microwave radiation weapon to target U.S. personnel on American soil and abroad, causing neurological-related health issues and brain damage, according to Politico. How such a weapon would work, however, isn’t clear.

    President Joe Biden’s administration is taking reports of the attacks seriously enough to involve all 18 federal intelligence agencies, and CIA Director William Burns is receiving daily updates on the investigation’s progress, Politico reports.

    A 2020 State Department-commissioned report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine found the purported attacks began in 2016, shortly after former President Barack Obama’s administration opened up diplomatic relations with Cuba.

    That year, U.S. diplomatic personnel stationed at the embassy in Havana began suffering from unusual physical symptoms linked with the onset of strange sounds.

    From the report:

    For some of these patients, their case began with the sudden onset of a loud noise, perceived to have directional features, and accompanied by pain in one or both ears or across a broad region of the head, and in some cases, a sensation of head pressure or vibration, dizziness, followed in some cases by tinnitus, visual problems, vertigo, and cognitive difficulties. Other personnel attached to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, reported similar symptoms and signs to varying degrees, beginning in the following year.

    State Department personnel have also reported the attacks, sometimes called “Havana Syndrome” or “The Thing,” occurring in the U.S., including northern Virginia, Miami, and Philadelphia. Some diplomats reported experiencing repeated attacks both abroad and back home, as though whoever was mounting them was specifically following them.

    U.S. troops in Syria have also reported unusual, unexplained illnesses. In 2017, independent medical analysis confirmed at least some of the individuals targeted suffered serious injuries.

    Although many of the affected individuals’ reported symptoms eventually went away, some personnel reported chronic effects including nausea, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, cognitive deficits, and memory loss.

    The GRU, or Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie (“Organization of the Main Intelligence Administration”) is the intelligence arm of the Russian military. Officials suspect the GRU is behind several attempted assassination and sabotage campaigns against U.S., other western, and Russian expatriates—including the poisoning of ex-GRU officer Sergei Skripal—as well as poisonings in Bulgaria, sabotage operations in Ukraine and Czechia, and cyberattacks in Georgia.

    U.S. officials also suspect the GRU hacked Democratic Party servers in 2016 as well as U.S. government agencies and critical infrastructure, which resulted in the federal indictment of several GRU officials.

    Cuba has historically been in the Soviet, and later Russian sphere of influence. Moscow tenaciously defends its historical turf, going so far as to intervene militarily in the civil war of its longtime ally Syria. It’s possible that Russian intelligence, fearing the loss of Cuba to the American orbit, undertook a campaign of harassment against American diplomats in Cuba.

    The State Department assessment found there “was significant research in Russia/USSR into the effects of pulsed radio frequencies.” This could have resulted in the development of a portable, nonlethal, covert weapon designed to exploit something called the Frey Effect.

    In 1961, American neuroscientist Alan Frey discovered certain frequencies could induce a physiological effect in test subjects, and that “modulating the [radiofrequency] energy could produce a variety of effects including the perception of ‘buffeting of the head’ or pressure on the face/head without dizziness or nausea, a ‘pins and needles sensation,’ and a sound described as a ‘buzz, clicking, hiss, or knocking’ within the head.”

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    However, as Foreign Policy points out, there’s considerable debate over whether the Frey effect actually exists. There’s no evidence that any country has developed or deployed such a weapon, which would require a 2,200-watt generator or up to 200 laptop batteries as an energy source. Foreign Policy’s Cheryl Rofer, a former chemist at Los Alamos National Labs, calls the evidence for microwave effects reported by U.S. personnel “exceedingly weak.”

    We may never know who’s behind the attacks, and what kind of weapon is being used. We do know that people have suffered real, serious injuries. But as Rofer writes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. It seems like nothing short of the capture of one of these weapons—if they actually exist—will settle the issue.


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    Published at Fri, 14 May 2021 20:00:00 +0000

    Attribution – For more Information here is the Article Post Source: https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a36397283/us-russia-microwave-weapon-attacks-havana-syndrome-explained/