IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

'Havana syndrome' cases at U.S. Embassy in Berlin investigated by German police

The mysterious ailment is believed to have affected 200 U.S. diplomats, officials and family members around the world.
Image: FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Embassy is pictured in Berlin
The U.S. Embassy in Berlin in 2018.Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters file

BERLIN - German police said Friday they were investigating several cases of so-called Havana syndrome at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, a mysterious ailment believed to have affected 200 U.S. diplomats, officials and family members worldwide.

The syndrome — with symptoms including migraines, nausea, memory lapses and dizziness — came to public attention in 2016 after dozens of diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, complained of the sickness.

Berlin police said they had since August been investigating an “alleged sonic weapon attack on employees of the U.S. Embassy,” but declined to provide further information.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Berlin declined to comment on any specific incident but said a U.S. investigation was ongoing into cases worldwide.

President Joe Biden on Friday signed a law that provides financial aid to government personnel afflicted by the syndrome.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

In July, Austria said it was working with U.S. authorities to get to the bottom of a spate of suspected cases among U.S. diplomats in Vienna.

William Burns, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence agency, said in July that there were about 100 CIA officers and family members among 200 or so U.S. officials and kin who had suffered from Havana syndrome.

Burns noted that a U.S. National Academy of Sciences panel in December found that the use of “directed energy” beams was a plausible cause.

He said there was a “very strong possibility” that the symptoms had been caused deliberately, and that Russia could be responsible. Moscow has denied involvement.