The US is barring passengers from bringing laptops, tablet computers, and other electronic devices as carry-on items on non-stop flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa.
The ban was revealed Monday after two Middle Eastern airlines began telling passengers about the new restrictions. A representative of Saudi Arabian Airlines, based at JFK International Airport in New York, told BuzzFeed News that the ban begins immediately, and covers all electronic devices, excluding cell phones. The airline said the ban applies on flights headed to the US.
On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement on the new policy, stating 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 increased security was needed.
“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…,” the statement said.