CIA briefing on suspected energy attacks provokes lawmaker anger
May 04, 2021 at 10:02
Washington (CNN) A briefing on suspected energy attacks on US intelligence officers turned contentious last week, two sources told CNN, as senators demanded more information about the mysterious incidents from the CIA and accountability for how the agency has handled them.
Senators on the Intelligence Committee were baffled that they were just learning about significant developments for the first-time and they were also frustrated that they were not given more details.
The classified briefing was one of the most contentious in the committee's recent memory, according to the two sources familiar with the briefing.
The tense briefing underscores the frustration that lawmakers have expressed over the mysterious suspected energy attacks on US personnel across the globe over the last several years, which the US government has struggled to address.
The Senate Intelligence Committee said in a bipartisan statement on Friday that the "pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing."
Ultimately we will identify those responsible for these attacks on American personnel and will hold them accountable."
A Senate Intelligence Committee spokeswoman declined to comment on the briefing, pointing to the committee's Friday statement.
Some senators directed criticism specifically towards officials in the CIA medical office, which initially doubted intelligence officials who said they had been subject to the mysterious attacks.
Burns told the House intelligence committee last month that he had appointed a senior officer to report directly to him on the matter.
A House Intelligence Committee spokesperson declined to comment on specific briefings, but said that the committee has been "working quietly and persistently behind closed doors on this critical issue since the first reports."
One State Department-sponsored study found the attacks were likely carried out using directed microwave energy.
The Senate and House Armed Services Committees both received briefings on the Pentagon's efforts to track and investigate these mysterious incidents in recent weeks.