New US Task Force Will Investigate Suspected Sonic Attacks

June 6, 2018 Updated: June 6, 2018

The State Department has created a multi-agency task force that will investigate suspected sonic attacks used against U.S. diplomats in Cuba and a U.S. government employee in China.

In a June 5 statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he requested Deputy Secretary John Sullivan on May 23 to “direct a multi-agency response to the unexplained health incidents that have affected a number of U.S. government personnel and family members stationed overseas.”

Sonic and electromagnetic weapons fall under the category of Directed Energy Weapons (DEW), which several countries—including the United States and China—are developing. Robert J. Bunker, adjunct research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College, said in a previous interview, “Like gun, missile, and bomb technologies, DEW can be utilized against people, material, and infrastructure.”

U.S government personnel and their families are asked to alert a medical unit if they experience “unidentified auditory sensations,” followed by symptoms including dizziness, visual problems, hearing loss, and others.

The Health Incidents Response Task Force will identify and treat those affected and their family members, investigate cases, look for ways to mitigate risk, work on messaging, and conduct diplomatic outreach. Agencies on the task force include the Defense Department, Justice Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, and others.

On May 16, a U.S. government employee at the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou, China, suffered mild traumatic brain injury after hearing a vague and abnormal sound. The incident was similar to another alleged sonic attack in 2016 on 24 U.S. government employees and family members at the Embassy in Havana, Cuba, where symptoms included concussion or minor traumatic brain injury.

Pompeo drew a connection between the incidents, and told the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “The medical indications are very similar, and entirely consistent with, the medical indications that were taking place to Americans working in Cuba.”

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