A federal air marshal has been quarantined in Houston after being attacked by an unknown assailant wielding a syringe in the Lagos, Nigeria airport.
The attack occurred on Sunday evening. Officials said that the attack took place in an unsecured area of the airport terminal in Lagos.
U.S. law enforcement officials stated that they were alarmed by the unprovoked attack because the assailant was apparently able to inject an unknown substance into the back of one of the air marshal’s arms.
The air marshal had been traveling with a team of other marshals at the time.
Although the assailant ran away and could not be located, officials said that the other air marshals on the team were able to secure the needle and bring it on the flight for testing in the U.S.
After the attack, the air marshal was able to board the United Airlines flight to Houston that he had been scheduled to work.
He was met early this morning in Houston by FBI agents and health workers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Amid fears that the substance could contain some form of Ebola, the air marshal was put into quarantine immediately.
“The victim did not exhibit any signs of illness during the flight and was transported to a hospital upon landing for further testing,” an FBI spokesperson said, who noted that “none of the testing conducted has indicated a danger to other passengers.”
Officials say that U.S. air marshals travel undercover in plain clothes, and that, as such, it would not be immediately obvious to an attacker that his target was an American law enforcement agent.
“While there is no immediate intelligence to confirm this was a targeted attack, this is our reminder that international cowards will attempt to take sneaky lethal shots at our honorable men and women abroad,” said Jon Adler, the national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
According to health experts, most infectious agents would not immediately manifest or make the patient contagious.