WASHINGTON – The head of the CIA’s Havana Syndrome task force is a veteran officer who was instrumental in the successful hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to an official familiar with the matter.
The officer’s role was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The official close to the matter told NBC News that the intelligence veteran leading the task force was “intimately involved in the hunt for bin Laden and will bring the same intensity and thoroughness to the search for the source of the incidents. unexplained health “that have now involved diplomats, intelligence officers and other personnel from US agencies and their families around the world.
The task force leader, a 10-year counterterrorism veteran, is still undercover.
NBC News reported on Tuesday that up to 200 U.S. officials or family members have reported possible symptoms. About two dozen cases have been reported in Vienna alone.
The Mysterious Syndrome was first reported at the US Embassy in Havana in 2016. In the following years, cases have been reported at US posts in China, Russia and now in a number. European capitals as well as in Central Asia. In December, a scientific study by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine focused on a form of microwave-directed energy emission as a possible source.
NBC News first reported in 2018 that Russia was suspected of being behind the attacks because it had long experience with the technology dating back to the 1970s, but an official said this week “that he did not ‘there is still no smoking gun.
The National Security Council is now coordinating two administration task forces on the syndrome, including that of the CIA, as the administration says it is engaged in a total effort to find the cause and protect personnel posted abroad.
The task force commanded by CIA Director William Burns includes intelligence analysts, undercover officers, clinicians and specialists from across the agency. A senior official said outside experts were also called in for additional technical and medical expertise.