War & Conflict


Spy agency ASIO wants powers to hack into personal computers

15th Jan 2017 (ORIGINAL 2013)

SPY agency ASIO wants to hack into Australians’ personal computers and commandeer their smartphones to transmit viruses to terrorists.

The Attorney-General’s Department is pushing for new powers for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to hijack the computers of suspected terrorists.

But privacy groups are attacking the ”police state” plan as ”extraordinarily broad and intrusive”.

A spokesman for the Attorney-General’s Department said it was proposing that ASIO be authorised to ”use a third party computer for the specific purpose of gaining access to a target computer”.

”The purpose of this power is to allow ASIO to access the computer of suspected terrorists and other security interests,” he told News Limited.

”(It would be used) in extremely limited circumstances and only when explicitly approved by the Attorney-General through a warrant.

”Importantly, the warrant would not authorise ASIO to obtain intelligence material from the third party computer.”

The Attorney-General’s Department refused to explain yesterday how third-party computers would be used, ”as this may divulge operationally sensitive information and methods used by ASIO in sensitive national security investigations.”

But cyber specialist Andrew Pam, a board member of the Electronic Frontiers lobby group, predicted ASIO could copy the tactics of criminal hackers to seize control of target computers.

Australians’ personal computers might be used to send a malicious email with a virus attached, or to load ”malware” onto a website frequently visited by the target.

”This stuff goes on already in the commercial and criminal world, and security agencies could be using the same techniques to commandeer people’s computers and use them to monitor a target,” Mr Pam said.

”Once you get control of a computer and connect to their network you can do whatever you want.”

The ASIO Act now bans spies from doing anything that ”adds, deletes or alters data or interferes with, interrupts or obstructs the lawful use of the target computer by other persons”.

But ASIO wants the ban lifted, so Attorney-General Nicola Roxon can issue a warrant for spies to secretly intercept third-party computers to disrupt their target.

The departmental spokesman said the federal government had made ”no decisions” about whether to grant ASIO the new power.

The government would first consider advice from the federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, which is reviewing national security legislation.

Victoria’s acting Privacy Commissioner, Dr Anthony Bendall, has told the committee that ASIO’s proposed new powers are ”characteristic of a police state.”

”To access a third party’s computer, which has no connection with the target, is extraordinarily broad and intrusive,” his submission states.

But the Attorney-General’s Department insists that ASIO will not examine the content of third-party computers.

”The use of the third party computer is essentially like using a third party premises to gain access to the premises to be searched, where direct access is not possible,” it states in response to questions from the committee.

”It involves no power to search or conduct surveillance on the third party.”

The department said technological advances had made it ”increasingly difficult” for ASIO to execute search warrants directly on target computers, ”particularly where a person of interest is security conscious.”

Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O’Gorman yesterday said ASIO should have to seek a warrant from an independent judge, rather than a politician.

He warned that ASIO might be able to spy on individuals – including journalists protecting a whistleblower – by tapping into their computers.

”I’m concerned they will access all sorts of information on a computer that has nothing to do with terrorism,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/australia/spy-agency-asio-wants-powers-to-hack-into-personal-computers-ng-12a17b2577859c1d00fba2dc78721854

The Military’s Latest Surge … in Sex Change Surgery

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image huffington post

30th Dec 2017

Barack Obama will go down in history as one of the worst, if not the worst president in U.S. history.

His “leadership” left the world in chaos, our economy in shambles, national debt approaching $20 trillion, and our nation divided as never before in a profound crisis of identity and confidence. And as our culture moves from dysfunctional to bizarre, one of the hot button issues Obama left behind is transgenders in the military, and forcing taxpayers to underwrite the cost of elective transgender surgery for military members.

Donald Trump was elected president on the hope that he would reorient national priorities to actually serve our nation. One such action he took in August was to end military payments for elective transgender surgery and to bar transgenders from enlisting in the military. He suspended recruitment of transgender people, ordered the Defense Department to develop policies regarding those transgender service members already on duty, and only pay for transgender surgeries that were in progress.

The cost of transgender surgery can exceed $100,000. Estimates of the number of transgenders in the military range from a low of 1,320 to as high as 12,800. If all individuals identifying as “transgender” elected the surgery, it could cost the military between $132 million and $1.3 billion. It is claimed that only a small percentage will actually undergo the surgery, but doctors ironically claim that it is medically necessary. Either way, with taxpayers underwriting the cost, many more will likely take advantage of it.

As with all the extreme left’s other agendas, Trump’s transgender ban predictably met with instant opposition. As commander in chief, the president’s authority to do this is crystal clear. But led by mostly Obama or Clinton appointees, numerous courts sided with the left, issuing stays on Trump’s order. As they did with Trump’s immigration ban, the courts have once again usurped presidential powers to interject themselves into what is clearly a presidential prerogative.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis followed President Trump’s order to study the issue, and was told to develop an implementation policy by early next year. He denies claims that he opposes the president, but on the transgender issue has shown signs of disagreement. Last July, when the Defense Authorization bill was being debated, an amendment to block sex reassignment surgery was proposed by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO). As Hartzler explained:

There are many problems, but funding transition surgeries with tax dollars is problematic because the surgery is very costly. … Surgical recovery time decreases the deployability of our soldiers, and funding transition surgeries means diverting money from other defense priorities.

Mattis lobbied Hartzler to withdraw the amendment and has slow-walked a decision regarding military policy towards trans military members. He may have been influenced by Anthony Kurta, who was nominated by President Trump to be Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Kurta is currently acting in that position, and served as undersecretary under President Obama from 2014 to 2017.

Kurta is a prominent transgender rights activist. It was Kurta who declared June to be DoD’s LGBT Pride Month, and was keynote speaker at its 6th annual LGBT Pride celebration this June. Mattis said this summer that Kurta and others would be influential in developing transgender policy for the military.

On December 11, D.C. district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee, ordered the Pentagon to begin accepting transgenders in military service by January 1. The Pentagon responded on Wednesday, December 22, with its guidance for recruiters to carry out this order, thus ignoring the commander-in-chief and acceding to the demands of a blatantly partisan court. Groups opposed to the Trump policy have added this document to assist them in their various lawsuits against the ban. The Office of Personnel Management, which guides personnel policy throughout the federal government, has also released its own policy memo.

The Trump administration appealed Judge Kollar-Kitelly’s decision, but was rejected by two separate courts last week. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, denied the appeal on the day after the Pentagon announcement, and Friday, a three-judge-panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that “the administration had ‘not shown a strong likelihood that they will succeed on the merits of their challenge to a district court’s order blocking the ban.”

 

 

source/read more;http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/12/29/simpson-militarys-latest-surge-sex-change-surgery/

Future wars may depend as much on algorithms as on ammunition

4th Dec 2017

The Pentagon is increasingly focused on the notion that the might of U.S. forces will be measured as much by the advancement of their algorithms as by the ammunition in their arsenals. And so as it seeks to develop the technologies of the next war amid a technological arms race with China, the Defense Department has steadily increased spending in three key areas: artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, according to a recent report.

Investment in those areas increased to $7.4 billion last year, up from $5.6 billion five years ago, according to Govini, a data science and analytics firm, and it appears likely to grow as the armed services look to transform how they train, plan and fight.

“Rapid advances in artificial intelligence — and the vastly improved autonomous systems and operations they will enable — are pointing toward new and more novel warfighting applications involving human-machine collaboration and combat teaming,” Robert Work, the former deputy secretary of defense, wrote in an introduction to the report. “These new applications will be the primary drivers of an emerging military-technical revolution.”

The United States “can either lead the coming revolution, or fall victim to it,” he added.

In an interview, Work, who serves on Govini’s board, said the advancements in technology are transforming war just as the advent of the rifle, telegraph and railroad did generations ago. Much of the current work is being driven by companies with large presences in the Washington area, including Leidos, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, CACI and SAIC, according to the report.

Service members are using virtual reality to simulate battle conditions in training. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been investing in better computing power designed to handle vast amounts of data, including quantum computing and what’s known as neuromorphic engineering, helping develop incredibly complex computing systems designed to mimic biological systems.

There are signs that AI and human-machine collaboration are already making their way into American weaponry and its intelligence apparatus. The Pentagon is working toward using drones as the wingmen of fighter jets and ships, which can probe into enemy territory on their own. The Marine Corps has been testing cargo helicopters that can fly autonomously and that would allow Marines, using a tablet, to “easily request supplies even to austere or dangerous environments,” according to the Office of Naval Research.

The stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with 8 million lines of code, is called a “flying computer” that is as much a sensor in the skies as it is a fighter jet, officials say. As an example, officials point to how F-35s communicate with one another on their own. If one jet in a sortie detects an enemy fighter on its radar that is out of the range of the other F-35s along with it, that information is automatically relayed to the other jets.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/future-wars-may-depend-as-much-on-algorithms-as-on-ammunition-report-says/2017/12/03/4fa51f38-d6b7-11e7-b62d-d9345ced896d_story.html

Real-life Stranger Things base ‘uses creepy mass mind control to trigger shootings across the world’, conspiracy theorist claims

25th Nov 2017

A US military base that inspired hit drama Stranger Things is using secret mind control experiments to trigger deadly shootings by a worldwide army of brainwashed assassins, a filmmaker claims.

Chris Garetano, who grew up close to Camp Hero, claims he has uncovered eerie goings-on over decades including child abductions and even time travel.
The Camp Hero base in Montauk, New York, was allegedly the home of a sinister project
Alamy
The Camp Hero base in Montauk, New York, was allegedly the home of a sinister project

The former Cold War radar station in Montauk, New York state, has been the subject of rumours and conspiracy theories since it shut in the 1980s.

Locals have heard talk of government scientists conducting experiments on snatched foster kids and making contact with aliens.

Crucially, it is claimed the base’s Sage radar tower broadcast the frequency needed to affect human consciousness.

One former worker has also described operating the Montauk Chair – a mind-reading device – and said once the  computer accidentally summoned up a monster from a subject’s imagination, which then went on a rampage through the air base.

Preston Nichols also told The Sun there were time-travel portals that sucked people to a different place and time.

It was these stories that inspired the creators of the hit Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things, which was originally titled Montauk.

Most of the base is now a state park filled with picnickers but some parts near the old military installations and concrete bunkers remain sealed and guarded.

Now Chris has taken a fresh look at the creepy site amid claims some of the sinister activities could still be happening today.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4989357/stranger-things-military-base-mind-control-conspiracy-theory/

NYC Foreign Terror Suspect Entered U.S. with ‘Diversity Visa’ Trump Wants to End

1st Nov 2017

The suspected foreign national terrorist behind the New York City attack that has left at least eight individuals dead came to the United States years ago through the Diversity Visa Lottery, a program that President Trump and pro-American immigration reformers have demanded an end to.

According to ABC New York, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov — the man who allegedly mowed down pedestrians in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City — entered the U.S. in 2010 from Uzbekistan under the Diversity Visa Lottery before obtaining a Green Card.

The Diversity Visa Lottery gives out 50,000 visas every year to foreign nationals from a multitude of countries, including those with known terrorist problems – such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Yemen, and Uzbekistan.

Trump, though, along with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), has been calling for an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery program since August. Under the RAISE Act, introduced in February and endorsed by Trump in August, the Diversity Visa Lottery would be eliminated altogether.

The Trump administration took eliminating the Diversity Visa Lottery even more seriously earlier this month when they introduced the president’s immigration priorities, which like the RAISE Act called for the elimination of the program.

In an interview with Breitbart News, Cotton said the Diversity Visa Lottery does not serve the national interest, as it arbitrarily rewards random foreign nationals with visas to come to the U.S.

“The diversity lottery serves no discernible humanitarian or economic interest,” Cotton explained to Breitbart News. “It is a policy that has far outlived its usefulness and it really doesn’t even serve diversity since Europe is one of the primary uses of it. Even in past efforts at amnesty-first comprehensive immigration reform like we saw in 2013 and 2007, most people agree we should eliminate the diversity lottery. I think it’s a policy that has far outlived its usefulness if it ever had any utility and it’s time to eliminate the diversity lottery.”

In 2011, just a year after the New York City foreign terror suspect, Saipov, entered the U.S. from Uzbekistan through the Diversity Visa Lottery, Center for Immigration Studies National Security Policy Director Janice Kephart testified before Congress about the security risks associated with the visa program.

“The Diversity Visa Program is an unfortunate blind spot in our immigration system that has outlived whatever purpose it might have had,” Kephart explained in her testimony in 2011. “The applicants for these 50,000 ‘visa lottery’ immigration slots require few skills. Neither their qualifications nor identity can be properly vetted. The program does not know, really, who these applicants are or their true purpose in coming to the United States. The program is a national security vulnerability and has been used by terrorists and organized criminals to not only enter the United States but to bring others in as well.”

“According to unofficial statements from the State Department, the program is rife with fraud in part because application standards are so low,” Kephart continued. “The program claims to have strict eligibility requirements, but only calls for a high school education or its equivalent or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience.”

 

 

source/read more: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/31/report-nyc-foreign-terror-suspect-entered-u-s-with-diversity-visa-trump-wants-to-end/

CIA agents were sent to find out if Adolf Hitler SURVIVED WW2

1st Nov 2017

An informant told the CIA that Adolf Hitler survived World War II and was living with ex-Nazis in Colombia in the 1950s, according to newly declassified documents.

The source told the agent, whose code name was Cimelody-3, the former Fuehrer was alive and that an ex-SS agent named Phillip Citroen had been in touch with him in the city of Tunja, according to the memo, released as part of the files related to JFK’s assassination.

Citroen told the informant he saw a man who strongly resembled Hitler while working in “Residencias Coloniales,” a neighborhood populated by former Nazis. He said Germans living there followed this alleged Hitler with “an idolatry of the Nazi past, addressing him as ‘der Fuehrer’ and affording him the Nazi salute and storm-trooper adulation.”

The former SS agent also had a photo of himself with the suspected Hitler, who allegedly went by “Adolf Schritteimayor.”

Security Breach Sees Secrets Stolen From International, $1.1 Trillion Joint Strike Fighter Project

12th oct 2017

A mystery hacker codenamed after a larrikin Australian soap opera character has been revealed as stealing sensitive, high-level information about a $1.1 trillion defence project created by an alliance including Australia, the U.S, UK and Canada.

The data about Australia’s warplanes and navy ships was stolen from an Adelaide Defence subcontractor which had one I.T. specialist and used extremely easy passwords.

Given the name “ATP ALF” — in reference to a +30 year character from the long-running Australian beachside TV program, “Home and Away” — the hacker had managed to sit inside the system of the contractor for months before detection in November 2016, and stole information about programs such as the $17 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project, the C-130 Hercules transport plane and the $4 billion P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft project.

A state actor has not been ruled out and it has been reported that a hacking tool, known as the Chinese Chopper, was used. The stolen data was not classified military information, but it was described as “commercially sensitive”.

The hack was discovered by a major Defence contractor.

A hacker a government agency has named ‘Alf’ (after the Home and Away character) has stolen sensitive Defence info https://t.co/awUKATLwgV
— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) October 11, 2017

Intelligence agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) revealed details of the hack, through the technology news website ZDNet, on Wednesday, after it was flagged on Tuesday by the minister for cyber security, Dan Tehan.

According to Mitchell Clarke, an ASD incident response manager, the stolen documents for a Navy ship could let a viewer, “zoom in down to the captain’s chair and see that it’s, you know, one metre away from nav chair”.

The subcontractor was revealed as using software that hadn’t been updated for 12 months as well as username-password combinations, “admin-admin” and “guest-guest”.

The many months between where the hacker was left to his own devices was referred to ‘Alf’s Mystery Happy Fun Time’.

Not an SME – a defence supply chain. Vendors are threat vectors. https://t.co/lxCk9WqDe7
— Tim Watts MP (@TimWattsMP) October 11, 2017

Defence industry minister Christopher Pyne told the ABC on Thursday he does not know who the hacker is and indicated he would not tell if he knew, “It could be a state actor, a non-state actor. It could somebody working for another company”. He described the contractor as a small enterprise and rejected any implication that the Turnbull Government was to blame for the hack.

 

 

source/read more : http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/10/11/adelaide-security-breach-sees-secrets-stolen-from-international-1-1-trillion-joint-strike-fighter-project_a_23240582/?utm_hp_ref=au-homepage

The Future the US Military is Constructing: a Giant, Armed Nervous System

28th Sept 2017

Service chiefs are converging on a single strategy for military dominance: connect everything to everything.

Leaders of the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines are converging on a vision of the future military: connecting every asset on the global battlefield.

That means everything from F-35 jets overhead to the destroyers on the sea to the armor of the tanks crawling over the land to the multiplying devices in every troops’ pockets. Every weapon, vehicle, and device connected, sharing data, constantly aware of the presence and state of every other node in a truly global network. The effect: an unimaginably large cephapoloidal nervous system armed with the world’s most sophisticated weaponry.

In recent months, the Joint Chiefs of Staff put together the newest version of their National Military Strategy. Unlike previous ones, it is classified. But executing a strategy requiring buy-in and collaboration across the services. In recent months, at least two of the service chiefs talked openly about the strikingly similar direction that they are taking their forces. Standing before a sea of dark- blue uniforms at a September Air Force Association event in Maryland, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said he had “refined” his plans for the Air Force after discussions with the Joint Chiefs “as part of the creation of the classified military strategy.”

The future for the Air Force? The service needed to be more like a certain electric-car manufacturer.

“Every Tesla car is connected to every other Tesla car,” said Goldfein, referring to a presentation by Elon Musk about the ways his firm’s vehicles learn from their collective experience. “If a Tesla is headed down the road and hits a pothole, every Tesla that’s behind it that’s self-driving, it will avoid the pothole, immediately. If you’re driving the car, it automatically adjusts your shocks in case you hit it, too.”
What would the world look like… If we looked at the world through a lens of a network as opposed to individual platforms?
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein

Goldfein waxed enthusiastically about how Tesla was able to remotely increase the battery capacity of cars in the U.S. Southeast to facilitate evacuation before the recent hurricanes.

“What would the world look like if we connected what we have in that way? If we looked at the world through a lens of a network as opposed to individual platforms, electronic jamming shared immediately, avoided automatically? Every three minutes, a mobility aircraft takes off somewhere on the planet. Platforms are nodes in a network,” the Air Force chief said.

The idea borrows from the  “network centric warfare” concept that seized the military imagination more than a decade ago. But what leaders are today describing is larger by orders of magnitude. It’s less a strategy for integrating multiple networks into operations more efficiently than a plan to stitch everything, networks within networks, into a single web. The purpose: better coordinated, faster, and more lethal operations in air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace.

So the Air Force is making broad investments in data sharing. Maj. Gen. Kimberly A. Crider, the service’s first data officer, is setting up a series of experimental tests in the Nevada desert at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, seeking to better understand “what happens when we actually connect into this resilient and agile network” said Goldfein. The Air Force’s current experimentation with next-generation light tactical attack aircraft are as much about hardware as networks, he said. “Not only what can I buy and what can they do, but more importantly, can they connect? Can they actually share? And can we tie it to a new network that’s based on sharable information that gets me beyond the challenges I have right now in terms of security?”
The Air Force is also fielding new connected devices. The handheld “Android Tactical Assault kit” or ATAK, designed with special operations forces, provides a common operational picture of everything going on — basically, doing what a huge command-and-control station used to do a few years ago. “What we determined was that there were so many devices on the battlefield that had information that we weren’t collecting. Rather than build a system to pull that in, we actually went to a commercial entity and they created an algorithm. It’s user-defined and it pulls in whatever data you need and puts it on Google Maps,” said Goldfein.

The Air Force used the device during this year’s hurricane relief efforts, sending rescue teams to people reaching out for help on social media, Goldfein said.

The Air Force Science Board is also launching a study into how to control a constellation of objects, some in the air, some in the sea, some on land, some piloted by humans and others more autonomous. James Chow, the board’s new head, said the study would also consider how to connect to other services.

Importantly, although the study would come out of the Air Force, it wouldn’t stop at just Air Force equipment but would extend to other weapons and vehicles in the battlespace, like Navy destroyers, said Chow.

“Our scope would be in helping the Air Force to think about operations they would be conducting that would incorporate joint sensors and platforms, like destroyers, I think that has to be part of it. And that is within the charter of the study,” Chow  said, adding that the study has “the highest priority level for Air Force leadership.”

 

 

 

source/READ more:http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2017/09/future-us-military-constructing-giant-armed-nervous-system/141303/

New details on what befell US diplomats

17th Sept 2017
THE bizarre attacks come out of nowhere and leave victims with lasting injuries. But no-one can explain what’s going on or why the victims are being hit.

US President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to visit Cuba in 88 years when he arrived in Havana on Sunday, March 20. Obama emerged from the plane with first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia following behind them.

The Obamas were greeted by a small Cuban delegation before climbing into their car that would take them to their next event. The president is scheduled to attend a meet and greet at the US Embassy before a sightseeing tour in Old Havana, which will include a visit to Cathedral de San Cristobal de la Habana. Obama is to visit the Palace of the Revolution and meet Raul Castro on Monday, and a state dinner is scheduled for the evening.

Obama will visit dissident leaders on Tuesday before taking in an exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team. He then leaves for Argentina in the evening. One thing Obama will not do during his visit is see Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former leader for many years since the 1959 revolution. The Obama trip to Cuba is the latest step in normalization of relations between the two countries since December 2014. Among the changes are that the US re-established its embassy in Havana and opened travel for Americans to Cuba. Mail was also re-established between the US and Cuba this week. Credit: YouTube/Cuban Foreign Ministry

UNITED States diplomats are sustaining curious brain injuries while posted in Cuba and the US government can’t figure out exactly what’s behind the astonishing international mystery.

The attacks allegedly began in late 2016 and were initially thought to perhaps be inflicted by some sort of unknown targeted sonic weapon.

The affected diplomats have sustained permanent damage to their hearing, mild traumatic brain injuries, and possibly even damage to their central nervous system.

The mystery over the bizarre situation only continues to deepen with baffled US officials claiming the facts and the physics don’t add up.

This week, the Associated Press spoke with a number of US and Cuba personnel with insight into the investigation around the alleged attacks and the revelations only make everything seem weirder.

At least some of the curious incidents were confined to specific rooms or even parts of rooms with laser-like specificity, the report said, detailing the experience of one US diplomat who was targeted by the unknown weapon.

“The blaring, grinding noise jolted the American diplomat from his bed in a Havana hotel. He moved just a few feet, and there was silence. He climbed back into bed. Inexplicably, the agonising sound hit him again. It was as if he’d walked through some invisible wall cutting straight through his room,” the AP reported.

Pretty soon, the diplomat was exhibiting speech problems and hearing loss. So far there have been 21 further victims reporting similar symptoms, including problems concentrating and recalling certain words.

The attacks seem to come at night and are delivered in short bursts.

The lobby of the Hotel Capri in Havana, Cuba. Picture: Desmond BoylanSource:AP

‘MYSTERY AFTER MYSTERY AFTER MYSTERY’

Cuba has a storeyed history with its powerful neighbour to the North. Cuba’s capital city Havana lies just 144 kilometres south of Florida’s island city of Key West.

The United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations in July 2015, which had been severed in 1961 during the height of the Cold War. However the US continues to maintain its commercial, economic, and financial embargo with the country which makes it illegal for US corporations to do business with Cuba.

Fulton Armstrong, a former CIA official who served in Havana long before America reopened an embassy there is mystified by the spate of curious ailments befalling US diplomats in the country.

“None of this has a reasonable explanation,” he said. “It’s just mystery after mystery after mystery.”

Suspicion initially focused on a sonic weapon however the diagnosis of mild brain injury is considered unlikely to result from sound.

The Trump administration still hasn’t identified a culprit or a device to explain the injuries. So far it continues to confound the FBI, the State Department and US intelligence agencies involved in the investigation.

Muddying the waters further is the fact that a handful of Canadian diplomatic houses in Cuba were also affected and unlike the US, Canada has maintained friendly relations with the island state for decades.

The US investigators have explored a range of theories around who’s behind the whole thing. They range from attacks perpetrated by a rogue faction of Cuba’s intelligence services, or with the help of a third party country like Russia, to far less nefarious explanations such as the possibility of an advanced espionage operation gone horribly wrong.

SOME VICTIMS HEARD AND FELT NOTHING

The personal accounts of victims, as well as their resulting injuries, vary.

Some felt vibrations, and heard sounds — loud ringing or a high-pitch chirping similar to crickets or cicadas. Others heard the grinding noise. Some victims woke with ringing in their ears and fumbled for their alarm clocks, only to discover the ringing stopped when they moved away from their beds, the AP reported.

Yet others heard nothing, and felt nothing only to have symptoms appear later.

Sound and health experts are just as baffled as investigators. Targeted, localised beams of sound are possible, but the laws of acoustics suggest such a device would probably be quite large and not easily concealed. And no single, sonic gadget seems to explain such an odd, inconsistent array of physical responses.

“Brain damage and concussions, it’s not possible,” said Joseph Pompei, a former MIT researcher and psychoacoustics expert. “Somebody would have to submerge their head into a pool lined with very powerful ultrasound transducers.”

 

 

source/read more : http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/cuba-mystery-grows-new-details-on-what-befell-us-diplomats/news-story/474338e66cb601e1ed22a1a86c6713c2