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The U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. House Intelligence will hear from ‘Havana Syndrome’ victim amid new probe.

House Intel to hear from ‘Havana Syndrome’ victim amid new probe

A U.S. government official inflicted with the mysterious illness known as Havana Syndrome is slated to appear before the House Intelligence Committee in a classified setting as soon as next month.

The official, whom Punchbowl News isn’t naming, has been providing classified information to committee investigators about the potential causes of what the U.S. government formally calls “anomalous health incidents.”

News of the upcoming testimony comes just days after a “60 Minutes”-led investigation uncovered new evidence that a Russian military-intelligence unit could be behind the incidents, which have targeted U.S. diplomats and intelligence agents overseas and on American soil. Lawmakers were first informed about the nexus to Russia’s GRU in 2021.

The individual’s cooperation with the House panel shows that despite recent intelligence assessments casting doubt on the notion that a foreign adversary is behind the incidents, Congress is still actively investigating the matter — including whether U.S. intelligence agencies have sought to downplay the causes and severity.

A spokesperson for the Intelligence Committee said it’s a violation of both the panel and House rules “to comment, confirm, or deny anything related to the identity of whistleblowers.”

The House Intelligence Committee, along with its Senate counterpart, has been investigating the issue for several years now. The “60 Minutes” investigation renewed lawmakers’ concerns about the U.S. government’s forthrightness on this issue.

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), who chairs the panel’s CIA subcommittee, told The Daily Mail on Wednesday that the investigative work “will continue until we are satisfied with the Intelligence Community’s response to this challenge.”

The official expected to appear before the Intelligence Committee is one of several current and former government employees who were compensated under the HAVANA Act, a 2021 law that set aside new funding for victims and their families.

Many victims have suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of the phenomenon, which causes a person to feel ringing and pressure in the ears, among other debilitating symptoms.

A recent NIH study determined that the symptoms “are very real, cause significant disruption in the lives of those affected and can be quite prolonged, disabling and difficult to treat.” However, the study also found “no significant evidence of MRI-detectable brain injury.”

A previous U.S.-commissioned report found “directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy” as the likely cause, leading lawmakers to begin referring to the incidents as “directed-energy attacks.”

— Andrew Desiderio

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