Suspicions have grown over the years that the neurological illness, referred to as “Havana Syndrome,” may be a form of foreign attack. The CIA now says that in most cases, it is not.

The agency will prioritize two dozen mystery cases, in which they have not ruled out a foreign player, but a senior CIA official said that in the majority of the cases, they were able to find an explanation having to do with medical or environmental conditions.

Reported symptoms include nausea, headaches, dizziness ringing in the ears and pressure. Cases of Havana Syndrome have been reported by American government officials and members of the U.S. military worldwide. The first case was reported in Havana, Cuba in 2016.

The Defense Department, State Department and FBI are trying to find the root cause of Havana Syndrome. They are also trying to find a way to treat the symptoms. Skepticism has been raised that the CIA released this new report on their own without consulting the other agencies.


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There has also been disappointment expressed in the CIA’s focus on foreign actors, without considering other possibilities.

“The CIA’s newly issued report may be labeled ‘interim’ and it may leave open the door for some alternative explanation in some cases, but to scores of dedicated public servants, their families, and their colleagues, it has a ring of finality and repudiation,” said a group that represents U.S. officials who have reported suspected incidents.

Government officials are questioning the timing of the report. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-Virginia) said that the intelligence community’s expert panel on Havana Syndrome will not finish their investigation for another 10-days or so.

“It might have been better to have this simultaneously released,” Warner said

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