“For those who have a look at the alleged occasions, there have been experiences that there are a number of folks in a room with thick partitions and thick home windows and just one individual was focused. It is a sort of weapon that does not exist,” stated Dr. Mitchell Valdes-Sosa, a well known neurologist who’s a part of the Cuban particular job drive investigating the alleged assaults. “It is science fiction, not science,” he stated.
“First, it was sonic weapons, now microwave. What’s subsequent, kryptonite?” the investigator stated in an interview with CNN at his analysis middle in Havana, referring to an earlier idea that sonic weapons emitting high-powered ultrasound waves might have prompted the accidents.
Valdes-Sosa stated researchers and investigators are engaged on a paper to rebut the microwave weapons idea.
Beforehand, the federal government not solely denied involvement within the assaults however forged doubt on whether or not they truly occurred. In June, Cuba’s Overseas Ministry stated “political motivations” drove the US to withdraw its embassy personnel.
Valdes-Sosa stated for a microwave weapon to work it must been used at an in depth distance, and not one of the diplomats reported seeing the alleged perpetrators. He stated that Cuban authorities had investigated the report that one diplomat who suffered an obvious assault had seen a van pace off and that the automobile belonged to a church.
Whereas the US has circuitously blamed the Cuban authorities for finishing up the assaults, US officers stated Cuba is chargeable for safeguarding the diplomats well-being and that Cuban officers would possible know if a 3rd authorities have been accountable.
However Valdes-Sosa stated after greater than a 12 months of US, Canadian and Cuban investigations there was nonetheless no onerous proof that any assaults truly befell.
“For an assault to have occurred you must have an actual sufferer. First the factor we aren’t positive is that if all these folks evacuated from Cuba are actually ailing or have suffered do one thing that occurred to them,” Valdes-Sosa stated. “Second, you must have a perpetrator. Who would have an interest? You need to have the chance.”
In a Sunday interview with CNN, Smith stated microwaves are “a major suspect” in inflicting the diplomats’ accidents, however ultrasound and infrasound have been being studied as potential causes as nicely.
“It is virtually like a concussion, however with out a concussion — which means that they seem like people who’ve persistent concussion signs however don’t have any historical past of head affect,” Smith stated, describing the accidents and explaining that studying the trigger is significant to figuring out the perfect technique of stopping it.
“Similar to now we have methods to forestall folks from having a concussion, you may consider possibly defending your mind from these power sources,” he stated.
Many of the assaults got here in 2016 and 2017, although there have been a handful of reported incidents this 12 months as nicely.
A senior administration official advised CNN that investigators have torn aside buildings the place diplomatic staff encountered the sounds however discovered no acoustic units, main regulation enforcement to imagine that the accidents have been the results of microwaves beamed from a close-by location and that the “sounds” have been merely a way of masking the microwave assaults.
That is solely a idea, the official stated, and there’s no concrete proof to again it. Nonetheless, mind scans on the injured personnel confirmed adjustments that point out injury, the official stated.
In a press release, the US State Division on Sunday neither confirmed nor denied the chance that microwaves have been behind the diplomatic accidents.
“The well being and well-being of our personnel stays our prime precedence,” the assertion stated. “The investigation into the origin of those signs continues. The inter-agency neighborhood is working diligently to find out the reason for the signs, in addition to to develop mitigation methods.”
The duty drive will function the “coordinating physique for division and interagency actions, together with identification and remedy of affected personnel and members of the family, investigation and threat mitigation, messaging, and diplomatic outreach,” Pompeo stated in a press release.
The sophistication of the assault has led US officers to suspect a 3rd nation is concerned, maybe as retribution in opposition to the US or Canada — whose diplomats have additionally been focused — or to drive a wedge between these nations and Cuba.
In August 2017, officers included Russia amongst an inventory of nations which have an adversarial relationship with the US and that American investigators suspected could be concerned.