Within the past two weeks, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has reported that a pattern of “debilitating” attacks on U.S. citizens abroad is “increasing,” in some cases leading to traumatic brain injury. CBS News reported that this year “more than a dozen CIA officers” serving in multiple overseas locations have returned to the United States to seek care after such attacks.
All these add up to an assault on Americans abroad that has eluded detection and is running unabated. Although experts have suggested it may be a device emitting “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy,” or microwaves, nothing is known for certain, nor is it known who is carrying out the attacks, although the intelligence community considers Russia the leading suspect.
The attacks have caused real suffering. Starting with a 2016 assault on U.S. officials in Havana, those afflicted have reported at first perceiving certain sounds or intense pressure in the head, coming from a distinct direction, followed by hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, visual difficulties, headaches and fatigue.
As of now, less than four months into the new administration, there is one task force working on it at the Pentagon; another at the CIA; another is being “reinvigorated” at the State Department; and another study of past intelligence reports at the National Security Council.
It is time for President Biden to knock heads together and put all these people in one place with a single urgent mission: figure out what is happening, take action to stop it, and hold the perpetrators to account.