Britain and the United States imposed various restrictions Tuesday on allowable electronics in carry-on bags and in the cabin throughout all planes coming from specific Muslim-majority nations in North Africa and the Middle as a response to yet unspecified threats to security.
Terms of the New Rule
The United States Department of Homeland Security stated that passengers traveling only from flights originating in the specified airports will no longer be allowed to carry electronic devices like laptops, cameras, tablets, or anything else larger than a regular smart phone. These items will now be required to be checked into baggage.
Britain was just announced to have taken similar steps, and one spokesman for the UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that there are going to be planned curbs of electronic items throughout the cabin of flights coming from six countries throughout the Middle East.
These moves had been prompted after reports that some militant groups hope to smuggle devices with explosives inside tech gadgets, said US officials to reporters during a recent conference on Monday.
“The U.S. government is concerned about terrorists’ ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years,” stated a counter-terrorism authority in the US.
“Our information indicates that terrorist groups’ efforts to execute an attack against the aviation sector are intensifying.”
Airports included in U.S. restrictions are in Kuwait City Cairo; Istanbul; Casablanca, Morocco; Amman, Jordan; Doha, Qatar; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE; and Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
Officials stated that their decision was not a result of President Donald Trump’s agenda after imposing a travel ban for citizens of certain majority-Muslim nations.
Gillian Christensen, DHS spokeswoman, stated that the government “did not target specific nations. We relied upon evaluated intelligence to determine which airports were affected.”