10 Sep 2014

Attack on US Marshal at Lagos Airport yet to be confirmed - Aviation Security

The Aviation Security (AVSEC) of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Department of Security Service (DSS) are yet to confirm that a US Federal Air Marshal who was travelling on a United Airlines flight was attacked with a syringe by an unknown assailant at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Sunday.

The security operatives were unable to confirm the attack after watching the footage of the CCTV recording which captured the boarding procedure of the United Airlines flight.

A senior security official at the international wing of the airport told ThisDay yesterday that a team from the US embassy in Nigeria visited the airport to confirm the incident alongside top security operatives at the airport and studied the CCTV footage from 18:30 pm to 19:30 pm, the period the airline boarded its passengers, to see where the air marshal was attacked but nothing was revealed.
“A team from the US embassy came and met with us. We invited all the security heads at the airport and they brought the CCTV footage that captured the movement of passengers to the United Airlines flight. We sat down and examined it but we saw nothing.

“The members of the team from the US embassy walked around and looked around; they went to the United Airlines counter, but there was nothing to confirm.

“I continue to ask myself what happened. Was he sleeping when it happened? Was he put under duress? So we are yet to confirm what happened,” the source said.
The source also told ThisDay that the footage that captured the period in question was copied and given to the team from the US embassy to study and the officials said they didn’t see anybody that might have attacked the marshal.
“We are still investigating the incident, so I can’t say yes, this or that happened. AVSEC, the SSS, Immigration and the US embassy are still investigating the incident,” the source said.
Media reports from the US said a federal air marshal was attacked in Nigeria by someone wielding a syringe that contained an unknown substance.

The reports indicated that the unidentified marshal might have been attacked because he was American and that the FBI was investigating the incident which took place Sunday, but it is not considered to be a terrorist attack.
“The assault took place at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The Transportation Security Administration released a statement saying the marshal was attacked while boarding the aircraft, which was about to leave Lagos for George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston,” CBS News reported.

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