Nigeria airports authority denies syringe attack on US official

 The airports authority of Nigeria says an allegation of a syringe attack on a US air marshal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos may not be true as preliminary observation proved there was no evidence to back up the claim made by the US.

IANS| Updated: Sep 10, 2014, 16:23 PM IST

Abuja: The airports authority of Nigeria says an allegation of a syringe attack on a US air marshal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos may not be true as preliminary observation proved there was no evidence to back up the claim made by the US.

In a statement made available to Xinhua Wednesday, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said footage of the air marshal`s movement was captured on closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and, at their request, a team from the US embassy met with the airport joint security team, to see visuals of the Sep 7 incident.

"Preliminary observation of the CCTV footage did not show evidence of such occurrence. The relevant security agencies have since commenced investigation into the matter," Yakubu Datti, spokesman of the FAAN, said in the statement.

"The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria wishes to assure all air travelers and the general public of our commitment to safety and security of our airports," he added.

Earlier, media reports said the air marshal, who works under the Transportation Security Administration and wore plain clothes instead of uniform, was attacked at the Lagos airport while boarding a flight to Houston in Texas. 

The attacker allegedly fled after injecting an unknown substance into one of the air marshal`s arms, the reports said, adding that the air marshal removed the needle and placed it into a secured container. 

Although he did not exhibit any signs of illness during the flight, he is now in quarantine as he was sent to a hospital Monday upon landing for further testing, particularly for possible Ebola virus disease infection or HIV.

The motive behind the attack was unknown, according to authorities in the US. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which plans to test the needle, is now investigating the attack.