The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Tuesday, denied alleged syringe attack on a US Air Marshal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, Sunday, September 7, even as the United States said its Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating the matter. Some foreign news media had published a story alleging that a US Federal Air Marshal was assaulted with a syringe containing an unknown substance at Lagos airport. According to the report, the victim was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 143 which landed in Houston, Monday, from where he was taken to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention where an on-the-scene screening of the victim was conducted and was quarantined. Reacting to the report, Mr. Yakubu Dati ,General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, said: “The attention of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has been drawn to a story making the rounds, that a US Marshal was assaulted at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
[eap_ad_1] “Following the report, a team from the US Embassy met with the airport Joint Security team, and at their request, viewed footages of the movement of the said marshal captured on our CCTV cameras.” “Preliminary observation from the CCTV footages did not show evidence of such occurrence. Relevant security agencies have since commenced investigation into the matter. “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria wishes to assure all air travellers and the general public of our commitment to safety and security of our airports.” ABC News reported that US law enforcement officials told them “that they were alarmed by the bizarre, unprovoked attack because the assailant was apparently able to inject an unknown substance into the back of one of the air marshal’s arms.” Meanwhile, the FBI in a statement made available to Vanguard, yesterday, said it was looking into the incident. The statement said the victim did not show any sign of illness during the flight, but was isolated and transported to a hospital for further testing. The recovered syringe was also taken for further clinical tests. Reports said there was no indication that the Air Marshal and other passengers in the flight were in any danger. The incident came amid fears that the substance could contain some form of Ebola virus. The Air Marshals are members of the diplomatic staff that travel with airplanes to forestal hijacking and terrorist attack on aircraft. They travel under-cover in plain clothes, which would not make them easily identifiable to the public as security agents. Owing to the nature of their assignment, the Air Marshals are allowed to carry arms as American Law Enforcement agents. The National President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Jon Adler said there was no intelligence to link the incident with terrorist attack at this point when US personnel were globally on alert ahead of the anniversary of September 2001 terrorist attack on the United States. There was no official confirmation from the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs whose officers failed to respond to media enquiries. Nigerian Airport security said there was no official report of the incident. (Vanguard)