An American diplomat working at the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China has been injured by a sonic attack similar if not identical to the ones that occurred in Cuba last year. From the Washington Post:
A health alert sent Wednesday said a U.S. government employee assigned to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure.”…
The employee was sent to the United States for evaluation and treatment. On May 18, the embassy learned that the diagnosis was mild traumatic brain injury.
“The medical indications are very similar, and entirely consistent with, the medical indications that were taking place to Americans working in Cuba,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday during testimony in Congress.
“The Chinese government has assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures,” said Lee, the embassy spokeswoman.
The U.S. hasn’t ordered all of its diplomats in China home, at least not yet, but it did hold town hall meetings Wednesday at all of the consulates in China to inform diplomats what was happening.
So what is happening here? We still don’t know enough to say. Last month, Sen. Marco Rubio told the Miami Herald that the FBI had made progress in ruling out some possible causes for the attacks in Cuba. However, there was no indication that they had this locked down a cause or knew who was behind the attacks.
After the Cuban attacks, Cuba strenuously denied involvement and even invited the FBI to travel to Cuba to investigate, something they never offer to do. That led some to believe that a 3rd party was carrying out the attacks. My own opinion is that this development actually adds some credibility to the 3rd party theory. What are the odds that Cuba and China have each separately carried out the same attack on U.S. diplomats using the same unknown device? It seems more plausible that one 3rd party is behind both attacks.
As for who is behind the attacks, there was speculation after the Cuban attacks that Russia might be involved. Would Russia do something like this? Yes, almost certainly if they thought they could get away with it. Remember, this is the same regime that attempted to murder a former spy on British soil using a Russian nerve agent just a couple months ago. And there are indications they may have murdered others on British soil before that.