IC’s Assessment of Anomalous Health Incidents


The United States National Intelligence Council released an “Updated Assessment of Anomalous Health Incidents.” “Anomalous Health Incident (AHI)” is a term coined by the federal government to refer to a mysterious health problem known as “Havana Syndrome,” which was first reported in 2016 in Havana, Cuba. This illness afflicts mainly U.S. government officials and military personnel overseas. Havana Syndrome creates symptoms with no known cause. The intelligence community (IC) coordinated this assessment to determine whether recent AHIs were the responsibility of foreign actors with ill intent.

According to the updated assessment, three lines of questions were used to determine the involvement of foreign adversaries:

  • “the first encompassed work determining whether available data points to the involvement of a foreign adversary in the incidents;
  • the second focused on the feasibility and existence of deliberate mechanisms that an adversary might use against US personnel to cause AHIs;
  • and the third evaluated whether medical analysis can help determine if an outside actor is involved in the broad range of phenomena and symptoms associated with AHIs.”

The IC concluded that most of their agencies do not believe that a foreign adversary was behind the influx of AHIs. They may revisit the assessment if new information comes to light.


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