CIA Fires Head of Station in Vienna Over Handling of Havana Syndrome Cases

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) fired its station chief in Vienna, Austria, recently amid criticism that he was not taking the mysterious spike in cases of “Havana syndrome,” The Washington Post reported Thursday. 9).

Dozens of cases affecting embassy staff and CIA officers and their family members have been reported in Vienna in recent times, but the head of the CIA station there, who was not named, expressed skepticism and showed insensitivity, the Post said, citing intelligence sources.

A CIA spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, but said the agency takes some of the incidents that may have occurred due to the mysterious illness at US diplomatic missions around the world.

The cause and source of the disease remains a mystery, CIA Deputy Director David Cohen said last week. “Are we getting closer? I think the answer is yes – but not close enough to make the long-awaited analytical judgment,” he said.

The US government, including the CIA and the Pentagon, has increased staff to investigate and provide care for people with the disease.

The disease is called “Havana syndrome” because reports of the condition first appeared in the Cuban capital. This disease is characterized by nosebleeds, headaches, visual disturbances and other symptoms resembling concussion.

Some people who experience it report hearing loud, high-pitched, focused noises that make them nauseous.

Little has been learned from this Incident, which has led to theories that it was caused by weapons using focused microwaves, ultrasound, poison or even a reaction to the sound of crickets.

But for several years, senior government officials dismissed these complaints, dismissing them as symptoms of people in a state of stress or hysteria reactions to unknown stimuli.

The administration of US president Joe Biden has stepped up investigations into what has come to be known as anomalous health incidents or AHI.

If the cases were caused by something like a targeted energy attack, US officials suspect Russia may be behind the attack.

The Post called Vienna, where the US has intelligence-gathering operations and a large embassy, ​​a “fertile field” for AHI incidents, as dozens of people there reported unexplained symptoms.

This issue has unsettled US officials around the world. In August, Vice President Kamala Harris postponed a visit to Vietnam several hours after the US embassy there reported a possible case involving an “acoustic incident.”

Additionally, during CIA Director William Burns’ visit to India in early September, an official in his entourage reported the symptoms and sought medical attention, according to the Post. [uh/lt]

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