US bans laptops from hand luggage on Middle East flights
United States Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday it has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones from being brought on board as hand luggage on flights from several airports in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
“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,” a senior US official stated.
The ban affects 10 airports in eight countries: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Morocco, and means passengers will have to place their laptops, tablets and other larger electronic devices in their checked luggage.
Earlier, several airlines from the Middle East, including Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines, said they had been notified of the new measures prior to the Department of Homeland Security announcement.