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U.S. air marshal attacked with syringe in Nigerian airport now in quarantine

A U.S. federal air marshal attacked with a syringe by an unknown assailant is now in quarantine, law enforcement officials said Monday.

The incident took place Sunday night in the Lagos, Nigeria, airport, ABC News reports. The marshal was traveling with other marshals when he was injected in the back of the arm with an unknown substance. The assailant fled, but one of the marshals was able to find the needle, and it was brought back to the United States for testing.

The team of marshals flew on a United Airlines flight to Houston, and the plane was met by FBI agents and health workers from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. Because the substance he was injected with has not been identified yet, the marshal was immediately put into quarantine "out of an abundance of caution," an FBI spokesperson said. The spokesperson added that the man was never a danger to the other passengers on the plane.

The team was dressed in plain clothes, so it was not obvious that they were American law enforcement agents, an official said. "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," Jon Adler, national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, told ABC News.