FBI is making progress investigating those sonic attacks in Cuba

In an interview with the Miami Herald, Sen. Marco Rubio revealed that he had recently been briefed by the FBI on the investigation into the mysterious attacks in Cuba which left some American and Canadian diplomats with serious health issues. Rubio says some of the victims of the apparent attack are now permanently disabled and will never be able to work again:

“I was briefed last Wednesday by the FBI. They have been investigating this and they have made a lot of progress,” Rubio said Saturday in Lima, where he’d traveled to attend the eighth Summit of the Americas.

According to the Florida senator, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the FBI “has been able to rule out several theories in terms of the technology that was used and I think there will come a time when we will know a little more.”

“We are talking about Americans and their relatives who are suffering today with what is typically seen after a traumatic car accident. Many, more than six or seven, will never be able to work, and [there are] others who cannot work, who are disabled and work five or six hours a day,” Rubio said.

Last month some computer scientists from the University of Michigan suggested they may have an explanation for what the victims experienced.

Most of the victims said they heard a shrill sound coming from a specific direction before experiencing the ailments.

Fu and his team used recordings of the sound obtained by The Associated Press and applied reverse-engineering to replicate what was heard by diplomats. By combining various ultrasound signals, they discovered that the resulting distortion produced an audible sound similar to what was heard in the original recording.

“When a second inaudible ultrasonic source interfered with the primary inaudible ultrasonic source, intermodulation distortion created audible byproducts that share spectral characteristics with audio from the AP news,” the university report said.

In other words, this could have been an unintentional byproduct of placing two listening devices too close together. Sen. Rubio isn’t buying that explanation. He notes that the attacks seem to have been targeting specific individuals (and their families).

As for who is behind it, Rubio tells the Miami Herald, “On the subject of how they did it, that is progressing. On the issue of who did it, I think the first question is going to answer the second one.” Cuba has said from the beginning that they were not responsible for this but in a dictatorship, there aren’t a lot of outside actors who could do something like this without the knowledge of the Castro regime. Former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes told the Center for Democracy in the Americas that he believed Russia might be working with rogue elements within the regime. But again, Rubio isn’t buying that. “It is impossible to think that in Havana they are going to attack Americans and that the Cuban government does not know it,” he said.

My own take is that we’re never going to really know unless some Cuban (or Russian) defector tells us what happened. While it’s possible all of this was a rogue element looking to scuttle the thaw with the United States, or an accident caused by bad placement of listening devices, I wouldn’t be too quick to overlook sheer malice. America has been the secular equivalent of the Great Satan in Cuba for a long time. Maybe they just wanted one last shot at us for old time’s sake.