On Friday, the Biden White House publicly acknowledged it has been investigating a number of mysterious sonic attacks that have targeted U.S. personnel both abroad and within the U.S.
Responding to questions about the sonic attacks that have targeted both U.S. troops and diplomats abroad, as well as government officials in the Washington D.C. area, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “Our national security staff is working closely with agencies and departments across the federal government to address unexplained health incidents that some government employees have suffered, and to ensure the safety and security of Americans serving around the world.”
There have been numerous reported attacks on U.S. diplomats since late 2016. Victims of the alleged attacks have reported hearing a grating sound and feeling pressure or heat, followed by the onset of vertigo, nausea, and head or neck pain. The mysterious illness has been called “Havana Syndrome” after around 50 U.S. diplomats suffered those symptoms in a late 2016 incident while at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba.
Subsequent suspected sonic attacks were reported at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China in early 2017, and again in Moscow, Russia in late 2017. Politico recently reported another attack against U.S. troops deployed in Syria in the fall of 2020.
There have also been at least three reported sonic attacks within the U.S. A White House staffer was also reportedly attacked in 2019 and U.S. Secret Service agents were also targeted outside the White House Ellipse in November of 2020. Federal personnel were reportedly targeted in Miami, Fla. last year.
“We are, of course, investigating incidents in which personnel have reported experiencing sensory phenomena, such as sound pressure or heat, concurrent with or followed by physical symptoms, such as sudden onset vertigo, nausea, and head or neck pain,” Psaki said on Friday. “At this moment, we don’t know the cause of these incidents, which are both limited in nature and the vast majority of which have been reported overseas. So right now we are working to investigate, taking every report seriously, and our national security team is overseeing that process.”
Asked how many cases of sonic attacks have been reported within the U.S., Psaki said she didn’t have any specifics but said, “I’m happy to see if there’s more we can provide on that.”
Last month, Politico reported military briefers told the top members of Congress in the “Gang of Eight” and the Senate Armed Services Committee about a number of suspected sonic attacks.
The briefers reportedly identified Russia as the likely source of the various sonic attacks but also listed China as another possible culprit.