Traveling from these Muslim countries? Your iPad is now a ‘terror’ threat, says US

Published March 21st, 2017 - 11:16 GMT
Royal Jordanian is among the airlines affected by the electronics ban. (Shutterstock)
Royal Jordanian is among the airlines affected by the electronics ban. (Shutterstock)

The United States is banning electronic devices such as laptops and tablets from cabin baggage on flights from eight Middle Eastern and North African countries, a BBC report said.

It will reportedly include all large electronic devices such as laptops, tablets cameras, DVD players and electronic games. But mobile phones and smartphones will still be allowed in carry-on luggage.

A US government source told the BBC that the measure would affect nine airlines operating out of 10 airports. US media reported the order was sparked by intelligence gathered overseas, the report said.

The official did not name the airports or the countries but said no American carriers would be affected by the ban.

However, some reports said the ban will apply to nonstop flights serving the cities of Cairo in Egypt; Amman in Jordan; Kuwait City in Kuwait; Casablanca in Morocco; Doha in Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul in Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE.

Royal Jordanian Airlines said in a tweet 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.

Saudia Airlines confirmed in a tweet that US transportation authorities had barred carrying larger electronic devices in cabin luggage.

It was unclear to what other countries and airlines the ban would apply.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declined to comment on the issue but is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday.

Last February an aircraft operated by Daallo was damaged by an explosion shortly after take-off from the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Investigators said a passenger who was sucked out of the plane had been carrying a laptop bomb. The pilot managed to land and the alleged bomber was the only fatality. Had the device gone off at cruising altitude the plane would almost certainly have been destroyed.

The Islamic militant group al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, claimed that it was responsible and the possibility of further such attacks is apparently what is now concerning American spies.

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