US bans laptops, iPads and other electronic devices on flights from certain Middle Eastern airports

Reuters
US president Donald Trump - 2017 Getty Images

US authorities have announced a ban on certain electronic devices from US-bound flights on planes from a list of countries.

The new rule was announced on Tuesday by the department of homeland security.

Officials claimed the ban had been under consideration since the US government learned of a threat several weeks ago.

A statement released by the Department of Homeland Security states the “2015 airliner downing in Egypt, the 2016 attempted airliner downing in Somalia, and the 2016 armed attacks against airports in Brussels and Istanbul” as examples of why this security measure is required/

Officials said no American carriers were affected by the ban Credit: Getty Images

The statement continued: “Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.

"Based on this information, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Transportation Security Administrator Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia have determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States".

Airports affected by the ban
  • Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar
  • Dubai International Airport, UAE
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport, UAE
  • Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
  • Cairo International Airport, Egypt
  • King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Mohammed V Airport, Casablanca, Morocco
  • Kuwait International Airport, Kuwait

The officials said no American carriers were affected by the ban, which would involve devices larger than a mobile phone. Passengers would be allowed to carry larger devices in their checked luggage.

Banned devices include laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic gaming units larger than a smartphone, and travel printers/scanners.

Royal Jordanian Airlines said in a tweet on Monday that US-bound passengers would be barred from carrying most electronic devices aboard aircraft starting Tuesday at the request of US officials, including those that transit through Canada. Passengers can still carry cell phones and approved medical devices.

Al Riyadh newspaper, which is close to the Saudi government, reported that the civil aviation authority had informed "airlines flying from the kingdom's (Saudi) airports to US airports of the latest measures from US security agencies in which passengers must store laptops and tablets" in checked in baggage.

Al Riyadh quoted a civil aviation authority source as saying that these measures from senior US authorities were relayed to the Saudi interior ministry.

The White House declined to comment.

A spokesman for the US department of homeland security, David Lapan, said the agency has "no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide an update when appropriate. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly called congressional lawmakers this weekend to notify them of the plan, congressional aides said.

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