The effort is part of a larger investigation into alleged directed energy attacks on Americans around the world, which have become so alarming to U.S. officials that the Pentagon began an investigation last year.
The attacks, which have caused various symptoms, including brain damage, are difficult to track and attribute with confidence due to their nature. The devices involved can be small and portable, and the symptoms can resemble other illnesses.
Representatives of the NSC, FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.
U.S. government officials have investigated these and other suspected directed energy attacks, including possible targeting of U.S. service members at home and abroad, and sounded the alarm bells on the issue to lawmakers, first reported POLITICO. The incidents involved officials working for both the Pentagon and the CIA. CNN first reported the incident on the Ellipse on Thursday. GQ reported a similar incident in Arlington last year.
Two Pentagon officials briefed members of the House Armed Services Committee on the alleged attacks in a classified setting last week, POLITICO first reported. The briefers were Jennifer Walsh, then acting Pentagon policy chief; and Griffin Decker, director of the Pentagon’s emerging threats cell. Officials told lawmakers they believe the threat of directed energy attacks around the world is increasing.
Briefers said suspected directed energy attacks have occurred on U.S. soil, including the alleged Ellipse and Alexandria incidents, according to a person familiar with the discussions. They have not formally determined whether the incidents constituted directed energy attacks. The briefers also did not conclusively state who was responsible for the alleged attacks, but identified Russia and China as likely suspects.
In a recent separate briefing in Europe that included state and Pentagon officials, a defense official said there had been an increasing number of energy attacks directed against US troops reported around the world. , including in Europe and the United States, a senior official with first-hand knowledge of the issue told POLITICO.
Lawmakers are already pressuring senior officials in Biden’s administration to release more information to the public.
In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday morning, Senator Jeanne Shaheen pressured National Intelligence Director Avril Haines on what the New Hampshire Democrat called a “crackdown” on information about the attacks energy directed alleged, noting that “there has been a real effort to try to keep this information confidential.” Shaheen urged Haines to be more transparent with lawmakers about the alleged attacks as well as the ongoing investigations.
“The horse came out of the barn for that. The information is already available, ”Shaheen said. “And I think it’s incumbent on all of us to try to make sure that the information that is released is accurate, that people understand what’s going on and that there is an effort to respond to it.”
Shaheen later told POLITICO that she had followed Haines about the case in a confidential setting and that she still believed more information about the suspected attacks should be declassified.
In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee this month, Haines referred to “abnormal health incidents that affected a number of our employees.”
“The intelligence community takes these incidents very seriously and is committed to investigating the source of these incidents, preventing them from continuing and taking care of those affected,” Haines said. “We appreciate the support many of you have shown our staff on this issue, as with everything we are working on around the world.”
Betsy Woodruff Swan contributed to this report.