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Montevideo, November 20th 2018 - 22:18 UTC

US and UK ban carry-on electronic devices on planes main cabins from Islamic countries

Wednesday, March 22nd 2017 - 10:07 UTC
Full article 13 comments
U.S. Homeland Security said passengers traveling from a specific list of airports could not bring into the main cabin devices larger than a mobile phone U.S. Homeland Security said passengers traveling from a specific list of airports could not bring into the main cabin devices larger than a mobile phone

United States and Britain on Tuesday imposed restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming from certain airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats.

 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said passengers traveling from a specific list of airports could not bring into the main cabin devices larger than a mobile phone such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras. Such items must be in checked baggage.

Although civil liberties groups raised concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump was seeking another limit on movement after a travel ban from Muslim-majority countries was challenged in the courts, Britain took similar steps.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said there would be curbs on electronic items in the cabin on flights from six countries in the Middle East. The foreign office said the measures would be implemented by March 25, and also included mobile phones.

The moves were prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices inside electronic gadgets.

The ban would continue for the “foreseeable future,” a U.S. government official said on Tuesday, adding that it was possible it could be extended to other airports and other countries.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer declined to talk about the intelligence that prompted the new steps or explain why some countries were left off the list.

Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, said he “spoke to the intelligence community over the weekend, and this is a real threat.”

U.S. officials say militant groups are known for innovative bomb designs, including embedding them inside computers. Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) also has boasted of one of the world's most feared bomb makers, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri.

The airports covered by the U.S. restrictions are in Cairo; Istanbul; Kuwait City; Doha, Qatar; Casablanca, Morocco; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.

The affected airports are served by nine airlines that fly directly from those cities to the United States about 50 times a day, senior government officials said.

The carriers -- Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways -- have until Friday to adopt the new policy, which took effect on Tuesday.

Britain said its restrictions would apply to direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. The British regulations affect British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Atlas-Global, Pegasus, EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, Turkish Airlines and Tunisair.

Top Comments

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  • Voice

    DemonTree
    I can't imagine anyone creating that many accounts to do that...
    I am perhaps sensing the mischievous workings of a certain enigma that monitors MP and occasionally hijacks accounts and leaves no trace, even the ID he uses has no ID...
    I could be wrong, but from time to time he does pull a few tricks...

    Mar 22nd, 2017 - 08:19 pm +6
  • Don Alberto

    The ban on six countries and nine companies is a complete waste of energy.

    Even a very stupid terrorist can figure out how to travel by train, bus, boat, csr, bike, ... to a country that is not banned and from there on a not banned airline to the US or UK.

    Mar 23rd, 2017 - 11:47 pm 0
  • The Voice

    I would think they have intelligence from certain countries that leads them to believe something like plastic explosive replacing the main battery in a laptop, Kindle or tablet. That's perhaps why these are being banished to the hold switched off? Perhaps the baggage containers can now contain such an explosion?

    Mar 24th, 2017 - 12:15 am 0
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