This just in—high ranking US intelligence agencies believe that several State Departments in Cuba were recently subjected to an “acoustic attack,” using top secret audio technology that could permanently destroy their hearing.
Although it isn’t confirmed whether this attack was committed by the Cuban government or a rogue terrorist organization, US officials are scouring to find the cause. The FBI has even launched a formal investigation into the matter, and it’s likely that the NSA and other government agencies are scouring their databases to determine the cause.
The attacks took place at the US embassy in Havana, according to CNN. While the embassy officials may have not been killed or seriously injured, the damage done to their hearing could be completely permanent.
The US believes several State Department employees at the US embassy in Havana were subjected to an ‘acoustic attack’ using sonic devices that left at least two with such serious health problems they needed to be brought back to the US for treatment, several senior State Department officials told CNN.
One official said the employees could have suffered permanent hearing loss as a result. The employees affected were not at the same place at the same time, but suffered a variety of physical symptoms since late 2016 which resembled concussions.
The State Department raised the incidents with the Cuban government over the course of several months and sent medical personnel to Havana, but have not been able to determine exactly what happened.
While this may seem like a government coordinated attack, the Cubans have claimed that they’re unaware of the source of the attacks. “We have worked with the Cubans to try to find out what’s going on,” one official has said. “They insist they don’t know, but it has been very worrying and very troublesome.”
This isn’t an isolated incident, unfortunately, US ambassadors in Cuba have suffered previous attacks. For years, US diplomats in Havana have been the target of violence—which is making many Americans suspicious about the Cuban government’s denial over these acoustic attacks.
For years US diplomats in Havana complained that they suffered harassment from Cuban officials and frequently had their homes and cars broken into. But diplomats said that after the US and Cuba restored full diplomatic ties in 2015, the campaign of harassment stopped.
Some of those affected chose to return tot he US, said Nauert, prompting the administration to expel two Cuban diplomats from the embassy in Washington in May.
According to the Geneva convention, ambassadors are completely off limits—they’re supposed to be shielded from the ramifications of war, so if Cuba was in fact behind this sonic attack, there could be serious repercussions. “We felt we needed to respond to the Cubans and remind them of their responsibility under the Vienna convention,” one official said.
While some believe that the Cuban government has been on our side, due to their relative cooperation since 2015, others are more suspicious. It remains to be seen whether or not this attack was coordinated by the Cuban government, by terrorist organizations, or by some other unknown entity. Stay tuned for breaking updates.