U.S. officials have pinpointed a likely suspect behind the “sonic attacks” that caused brain injuries to American government workers in Cuba and China.
Evidence from signals intelligence, which is essentially communications intercepts, has pointed to Russia. The intelligence has been compiled through the work of the FBI, the CIA, and other agencies, but NBC notes that their sources “declined to elaborate on the nature of the intelligence.”
The investigation stemmed from unexplained head injuries suffered by 26 employees at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, starting in late 2016. The workers would suddenly begin hearing strange sounds, either at home or in hotel rooms, and later suffered a range of ailments, including brain injuries, hearing loss, memory loss, or nausea. This year, an American employee at the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China had a similar experience.
The U.S. now believes that microwaves were likely used in the strikes. Officials have not yet determined the motive, nor are they conclusive in their estimation that Russia is behind it, but State Department officials have unanimously deemed the incidents “attacks.”
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told NBC that the investigation is still ongoing, noting that they have “made no determination on who or what is responsible for the health attacks.”