The Department of Homeland Security announced a ban on any electronic devices larger than a smartphone on certain flights out of the Middle East and Africa, according to a new security measure implemented Tuesday. Laptops, e-readers, cameras and other portable devices will have to be checked and stowed as baggage before travelers pass through security at certain airports.
“The U.S. government is concerned about terrorists’ ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years, as evidenced by the 2015 airliner downing in Egypt; the 2016 attempted airliner downing in Somalia; and the 2016 armed attacks against airports in Brussels and Istanbul,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. ”Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.”
The indefinite ban affects nine airlines out of 10 airports.
International Airports Affected
Cairo International, Cairo, Egypt (CAI)
Dubai International, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB)
Abu Dhabi International, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (AUH)
Hamad International, Doha, Qatar (DOH)
Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan (AMM)
Kuwait International, Kuwait City (KWI)
Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco (CAS)
King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (JED)
King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (RUH)
Royal Air Maroc
Royal Jordanian Airlines
Saudi Arabian Airlines
According to officials, the ban was unrelated to President Donald Trump’s earlier ban on travel from several majority-Muslim nations and the electronics ban “did not target specific nations.”
“We relied upon evaluated intelligence to determine which airports were affected,” officials said, according to a Reuters report Monday. Before the official announcement, the ban was being considered for weeks after government officials learned of a threat.
The DHS announced it would give airlines 96 hours to fully implement the ban which would “remain in place until the threat changes.”