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Federal Air Marshal Attacked in Nigeria With Needle Containing Unknown Substance

"Was it something that is contagious that they then hope to spread."

The substance inside the needle is being tested while the air marshal who was stabbed before boarding a plane in Lagos is under evaluation. While there isn't any indication at this time that the attack is related to terrorism, an expert said the possibility of it being a "dry run" is not out of the running. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

After a federal air marshal was stabbed in a Nigerian airport Sunday with a needle, he was flown to Houston where he was quarantined and put under medical evaluation.

According to sources speaking with KPRC-TV, the unnamed air marshal was with a group of other plain clothes agents in a Lagos airport when they were approached by another group of men. At this point, one of the marshals was stabbed with the needle and the men fled.

The substance inside the needle is being tested while the air marshal who was stabbed before boarding a plane in Lagos is under evaluation. While there isn't any indication at this time that the attack is related to terrorism, an expert said the possibility of it being a "dry run" is not out of the running. (Photo credit: Shutterstock) The substance inside the needle is being tested while the air marshal who was stabbed before boarding a plane in Lagos is under evaluation. While there isn't any indication at this time that the attack is related to terrorism, an expert said the possibility of it being a "dry run" is not out of the running. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

The news station reported that the agent removed the needle, which contained an unknown substance, and stored it for later evaluation. He boarded the flight that he was already scheduled to be on to Bush Intercontinental Airport and went to the hospital when he arrived in Texas.

"The victim did not exhibit any signs of illness during the flight and was transported to a hospital upon landing for further testing. None of the testing conducted has indicated a danger to other passengers," FBI agent Shauna Dunlap told KPRC.

Watch the news station's report about the incident:

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The FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are evaluating the man, who is under quarantine, and the contents of the needle, ABC News reported.

Nigeria is one of the countries in West Africa that is involved in the current Ebola outbreak. Though not as severely impacted as other countries, the disease has been spreading there more recently. Investigators will be searching for this virus and other possible contagions that could have been in the needle as well.

"Was it something intended to just harm that person, who they certainly thought was American, who they may or may not have known he was a U.S. marshal, or was it something that is contagious that they then hope to spread to the United States," Homeland security expert Joan Neuhaus Schaan said to KPRC, noting that the substance inside the needle very well could have been nothing.

Fox News reported that an alert from the TSA called the attack an isolated incident, but unnamed law enforcement sources speaking with KPRC said there is concern with the upcoming anniversary of 9/11 that it could have possible terror connections. The news station noted that federal officials said there has been no terror connection made.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

Front page image via Shutterstock.

This story has been updated to correct a typo.

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