Sept 10, 2014 – Nigeria Says US Air Marshall Wasn’t Attacked With Ebola-Laden Syringe In Lagos
Nigeria’s aviation authorities on Wednesday said there was no evidence for the United State’s claim that one of its air marshals was attacked as he tried to board a flight in Lagos.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said on Monday that the marshal, who was on duty, was attacked with a syringe on Sunday and was undergoing treatment in Houston, Texas.
A spokesman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Dati, said in a statement that officials were aware of the reports and had been in contact with US diplomats.
A security team from the US mission in Nigeria had reviewed security camera footage from the Lagos airport of the air marshal, he said.
But he added: “Preliminary observation from the CCTV (closed-circuit television) footage did not show evidence of such (an) occurrence.”
A US embassy spokesman in Nigeria declined to comment when asked by AFP about the footage, and referred to an earlier statement by US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.
Harf told reporters in Washington on Monday: “We can confirm reports that an unknown assailant injected a substance into the arm of a US federal air marshal at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria.”
US law enforcement agencies were collaborating with their Nigerian counterparts to investigate the incident, she added. The FBI said the marshal was not in danger.
The incident raised fears the syringe could have carried some form of the Ebola virus because Nigeria is one of the West African countries where the deadly epidemic has spread.
Eight people have been killed and dozens infected with the fever in the current outbreak, which has killed nearly 2,300 in three other West African states.