Was White House attacked? Pentagon probes mysterious ‘Havana Syndrome’ attack in 2020 that sickened 1 official

A National Security Official was sickened after a strange attack of energy at the White House, similar to the one that hit US diplomats in Havana in 2016

                            Was White House attacked? Pentagon probes mysterious ‘Havana Syndrome’ attack in 2020 that sickened 1 official
Officials are investigating two potential 'Havana syndrome' in the US, including one near the White House (Getty Images)

The Pentagon is reportedly looking into two energy attacks on US soil, similar to the ones that sickened diplomats in Cuba in 2016. According to reports, the government is investigating two energy attacks, one at the White House in November 2020 and another in Virginia in 2019. 

The mysterious attacks have sickened one person as in the White House, a National Security Council (NSC) official is believed to have developed a mystery illness after being hit in 2020. The attack in Virginia occurred in 2019, near Washington, impacted a White House official who was walking her dog. The condition of both individuals is not known. The investigations were unveiled by CNN, with multiple sources confirming the two attacks took place. It begs the question - was the White House the target? 


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The White House is lit at dusk on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital.

Havana Syndrome strikes

The attacks are being probed by multiple federal agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD), CIA and the State Department. According to CNN, defense officials "briefed lawmakers on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees on the matter earlier this month". In 2020, the NSC officer was believed to have been at The Ellipse, the large oval lawn on the south side of the White House, at the time of the attack. In 2019, the White House official was attacked in Arlington. GQ, which reported on the incident said, "the staffer passed a parked van. A man got out and walked past her. Her dog started seizing up. Then she felt it too: a high-pitched ringing in her ears, an intense headache, and a tingling on the side of her face."

Right now, officials think Russia or China could be behind the attacks. However, there are many questions that still need to be answered. A 2020 State Department-sponsored study found that the illnesses were likely caused by the use of directed 'microwave energy', but that theory is yet to be confirmed. The illness has been informally nicknamed the 'Havana Syndrome' since it was first reported by diplomats in Havana, Cuba in 2016. Since then, similar incidents have taken place in China and Russia. Following the Havana incident, there was a dramatic drawdown of officials from the country. 

Employees and guests of the newly reopened U.S. Embassy attend the flag-raising ceremony August 14, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. Officals were rapidly withdrawn following the 2016 incident. (Getty Images)

CIA, state 'not taking it seriously'

Towards the end of the Donald Trump administration, the Pentagon wanted to take the lead in the investigations but has been facing challenges from the CIA and State Department. "I knew CIA and Department of State were not taking this sh*t seriously and we wanted to shame them into it by establishing our task force," then-acting defense secretary Chris Miller told CNN. He added that the Pentagon set up a task force, which Miller called a "bureaucratic power play". 

That effort seemed to pay off, with the CIA setting up its task force in late December. It is unclear how the State Department has responded as of now. However, it seems as if the DoD is taking a lead in the investigations as Miller wanted. CNN reported that a defense official briefed lawmakers, rather than an FBI or CIA official, as is normal for incidents on US soil. Right now, it is also not clear if the latest incidents are related to the previous ones. 

Given that both the attacks occurred near the White House, officials also have to answer the question of the White House itself is the target. Details about that are not readily available, since this is a matter of national security and has been listed as classified. The White House briefly addressed the matter in a statement to CNN, saying, "The White House is working closely with departments and agencies to address unexplained health incidents and ensure the safety and security of Americans serving around the world. Given that we are still evaluating reported incidents and that we need to protect the privacy of individuals reporting incidents, we cannot provide or confirm specific details at this time." 

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