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U.S. senators pen letter to Joe Biden calling for “renewed assessment” of Havana Syndrome after investigation by The Insider

A joint investigation released by The Insider, Der Spiegel and 60 Minutes on March 31 uncovered new evidence suggesting that heretofore unexplained “anomalous health incidents” (AHIs) reported by U.S. government officials and their families, also known as Havana Syndrome, may have their origin in the use of directed energy weapons wielded by members of GRU Unit 29155, a notorious assassination and sabotage squad attached to Russia’s military intelligence service.

In response, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators has penned a letter to President Joe Biden calling for a “renewed assessment by the U.S. government” into the cause of AHIs.

“At this time, we recognize that we must not let allegations carry more weight than evidence,” the senators wrote. “However, the 60 Minutes piece presented compelling evidence that warrants further review.”

The letter, sent on April 12, was signed by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee; Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who holds senior positions on the U.S. Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees; and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, among others.

A report by U.S. intelligence agencies last year assessed that the symptoms, first reported by U.S. embassy officials in the Cuban capital Havana in 2016, “probably were the result of factors that did not involve a foreign adversary.” However, the appearance of new evidence has led the senators to call for a reexamination of those findings.

“Amid recent troubling allegations, the US must renew efforts to identify the cause behind directed energy attacks. Senator Collins and I are calling on [the U.S. President] to investigate these allegations, review new evidence and ensure victims are compensated and can access treatment,” Shaheen tweeted on April 12.

“Given that the U.S. intelligence community has still not identified the root cause of AHIs or attributed responsibility for them, and that reports of new AHIs continue, we should continue to investigate potential actors and causal mechanisms to prevent future incidents taking place to protect U.S. government employees and family members,” the letter read.

After the release of the investigation and the broadcast of the 60 Minutes report, responses were issued by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, and State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

“We will look at new information as it comes in and make assessments inside the State Department and with our Intelligence Community counterparts,” Miller said the day after the 60 Minutes report aired.

A range of potential victims including White House personnel, CIA operatives (including 26-year agency veteran Mark Polymeropoulos), FBI agents, military officers, and family members of overseas U.S. employees suspect that they were targeted by a secret weapon that emits high-energy microwave or ultrasound beams, after which they experienced symptoms including — but not limited to — migraines, nausea, memory lapses, and dizziness.

“And consistently, there was a Russia nexus,” Edgreen said. “There was some angle where they had worked against Russia, focused on Russia, and done extremely well.”

Greg Edgreen, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, set up the working group investigating Havana Syndrome for the Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA, from 2020 to 2023. The role gave him access to classified intelligence compiled not just by the Pentagon, but by other agencies within the U.S. intelligence community.

In response to The Insider’s investigation, Edgreen told 60 Minutes:

“If I'm wrong about Russia being behind anomalous health incidents, I will come onto your show. And I will eat my tie.”

While skeptics of the Russian directed energy weapon theory remain, The Insider’s investigation placed GRU Unit 29155 operatives, such as Albert Averyanov, at the scene of reported AHIs involving U.S. personnel. It also confirmed that senior members of Unit 29155 received awards and promotions for work related to the development of “non-lethal acoustic weapons.”

The 60 Minutes report tied one victim, an FBI agent, to Russia through her work. Evidence suggests that Vitalii Kovalev, a Russian man she interviewed extensively, was a Kremlin spy. The FBI agent's lawyer, Mark Zaid, represents over two dozen clients who suffer from Havana Syndrome symptoms. These clients include individuals from the CIA, State Department, and FBI.

“The one thread that I know of with the FBI personnel that is common among most, if not all, of my clients other than the family members connected to the employee, was they were all doing something relating to Russia,” Zaid, who holds a security clearance, told 60 Minutes.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the report by repeatedly saying the allegations were “unfounded.”

“No one has ever published or expressed any convincing evidence of these unfounded accusations anywhere,” Peskov said. “Therefore, all this is nothing more than baseless, unfounded accusations by the media.”

Peskov did not offer an explanation as to why GRU personnel were reportedly present at the site of multiple incidents in which American officials or their family members reported suffering from nearly identical symptoms, nor did he comment on the motivation behind the research GRU-connected entities performed in order to warrant their awards for work related to the development of “non-lethal acoustic weapons.”

Cover photo: Screenshot of 60 Minutes' first segment on Havana Syndrome, originally aired on March 17, 2019 (available on YouTube).

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