US officials stationed in Germany developed symptoms of the Havana Syndrome, a mysterious ailment linked to suspected radiation attacks that have stricken hundreds of American spies and diplomats around the world.
At least two US officials were treated after developing nausea, severe headaches, ear pain, fatigue, insomnia and sluggishness, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The cases were among the first reported in a NATO country that is home to US troops and weapons. Diplomats said US officials suffered similar ailments in other European nations, according to the report.
At least one other Havana Syndrome case was reported among US officials based in Berlin last month, according to NBC News.
The attacks have also occurred in China, Russia and Austria, and have long been suspected to be connected to Russia. Many victims were intelligence officers or emissaries working on Russian-related issues.
A CIA task force headed by an official who was involved in the search for Osama Bin Laden is currently probing the cause of the hard-to-diagnose symptoms, which have reportedly afflicted as many as 200 Americans.
One patient at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center said he was diagnosed with a brain injury similar to those seen in people exposed to explosion shock waves, the Journal reported.
The patient told the paper he experienced piercing ear pain, high-pitched electronic noise and pressure in the ears before being afflicted with other symptoms.
“There is no evidence about what happened to us, but it is striking that some of us had worked on Russia-related issues,” the patient reportedly said.
“Whatever it is, it is a form of terrorism—it has caused serious injuries that have been life-altering for some of us,” the victim told the newspaper.
The US Embassy had not notified the German government of the latest suspected attacks because officials were still investigating, according to the article.
Combative Russian activities in Germany, from disinformation campaigns to spying and hacking, had recently ramped up to levels unseen since the 1980s, German spies reportedly said.
“The methods are getting ever harsher and the means more brutal,” Thomas Haldenwang, head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, reportedly said earlier this year.
Russian Embassy officials in Berlin blamed a Russophobic propaganda machine for the furor, the article said.
After nearly two dozen Americans in Austria reported being stricken with the Havana Syndrome, authorities in the neutral nation launched their own investigation, the paper reported.
“We take this extremely seriously, we have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of diplomats and this poses a challenge to our reputation as an international center of dialogue,” an Austrian official told the Journal.
“It could be that the attacks were outsourced to organized crime, but it is very difficult to understand why the Russians or anyone else would do this,” the official reportedly said. “It seems like a campaign to hurt people for no apparent reason.”