House Passes Bill to Send Payments to Victims of Likely Directed Energy Attacks

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
September 22, 2021 Updated: September 22, 2021

The House on Sept. 21 unanimously passed a bipartisan measure that would authorize payments to victims of likely directed energy attacks, also known as the Havana syndrome.

The legislation, titled Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act, and led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), was approved by a 427–0 vote. It was first passed by the Senate on June 7, and measure now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

It specifically authorizes the CIA director, the secretary of state, and other agency heads to provide medical and financial help to the victims who have suffered brain injuries as a result of the attacks.

It also requires that the CIA and State Department report to Congress on how the funds are being used and if additional “legislative or administrative action is required.”

U.S. authorities have struggled to understand the mysterious attacks since they were first noted in 2016, when diplomatic and intelligence personnel in communist Cuba first began reporting disturbing symptoms, including head pressure or vibration, and dizziness, sometimes followed by visual problems and cognitive difficulties.

The update comes shortly after The New York Times reported that a CIA officer who was travelling to India this month with the agency’s director reported symptoms consistent with Havana syndrome.

The Epoch Times has contacted the CIA for comment on the reported incident.

Roughly 200 U.S. officials and family members have so far been sickened by the attacks, according to Reuters.

“There is no doubt that the victims who have suffered brain injuries must be provided with adequate care and compensation. Further, it is critical that our government determine who is behind these attacks and that we respond,” Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a statement earlier this year.

A State Department-sponsored study into the phenomenon by the National Academy of Sciences investigated whether chemical exposure, infectious diseases, and psychological issues could have been behind the symptoms, but concluded that the most likely cause was directed microwave energy.

“Overall, directed pulsed RF (radio frequency) energy, especially in those with the distinct early manifestations, appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases among those that the committee considered,” the report on the study stated.

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.