Der US-Geheimdienst CIA hat den Leiter seines Büros in Wien abberufen, nachdem Kritik an dessen Management laut geworden war. Dies berichtete die “Washington Post” am Donnerstag (Ortszeit) und berief sich auf Insiderkreise. Im Wortlaut: “The CIA has removed its top officer in Vienna following criticism of his management, including what some considered an insufficient response to a growing number of mysterious health incidents at the U.S. Embassy there, according to current and former U.S. officials.”
Der CIA-Mitarbeiter soll sich der Zeitung zufolge unangemessen über Vorfälle geäußert haben, die mit der als “Havanna-Syndrom” bekanntgewordenen mysteriösen Erkrankung von US-Diplomaten in Verbindung stehen.
Seit das Syndrom 2016 erstmals in der kubanischen Hauptstadt Havanna aufgetreten war, haben weltweit Dutzende Diplomaten darüber geklagt. Nach Angaben der CIA waren rund 200 Vertreter der USA am “Havanna-Syndrom” erkrankt. Die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika haben den Verdacht geäußert, dass die Betroffenen mit Funkfrequenzen angegriffen worden seien und dass Russland hinter den Attacken stecke. Die Regierung in Moskau hat das zurückgewiesen.
“CIA station chief in Vienna recalled amid criticism of management and handling of mysterious ‘Havana Syndrome’ cases”
“The CIA has removed its top officer in Vienna following criticism of his management, including what some considered an insufficient response to a growing number of mysterious health incidents at the U.S. Embassy there, according to current and former U.S. officials.
The sidelining of the station chief in one of the largest and most prestigious CIA posts is expected to send a message that top agency leaders must take seriously any reports of “Havana Syndrome,” the phenomenon named after the Cuban capital where U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers had first reported unusual and varied symptoms, from headaches to vision problems and dizziness to brain injuries, that started in 2016.
In recent months, the Austrian capital has become a hotbed of what the CIA officially calls “anomalous health incidents.” The ouster of the CIA station chief comes as the State Department’s top official overseeing Havana Syndrome cases leaves her position after six months.
The department said Ambassador Pamela Spratlen was exiting because she had “reached the threshold of hours of labor” permitted under her status as a retiree. But she faced calls for her resignation after a teleconference with victims who had asked a question about an FBI study that determined the illnesses had a psychological origin rather than a physical one.
Spratlen declined to say if she believed the FBI study was accurate or not, angering victims who believe their symptoms are the result of an attack, possibly with microwaves or some form of directed energy. NBC News first reported the exchange. The FBI declined to comment.
Dozens of U.S. personnel in Vienna, including diplomats and intelligence officials, as well as some of the children of U.S. employees, have reported symptoms, according to the current and former officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.
Intelligence experts said that if the syndrome is the result of a deliberate attack, targeting the children and family members of U.S. diplomats and spies would mark a dramatic escalation. As a result of the incidents in Vienna, offices within the U.S. mission there were shut down last month, impairing embassy functions, one U.S. official said.
The removal of the station chief, the illnesses among children and the closure of embassy offices have not been previously reported. When asked about embassy operations in Vienna, a State Department spokesperson said, “We don’t discuss embassy operations or specific reports, but we take each report we receive extremely seriously and are working to ensure that affected employees get the care and support they need”.”
Zur FoB-Recherche: Spione, Strippenzieher und Geheimdienste: Im Zwielicht der Demokratie