New electronics ban issued by Homeland Security

Upon learning that terrorist groups have been plotting to smuggle explosives hidden inside larger-sized electronic items, a new air travel ban has been put in place by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Since Tuesday, travelers carrying electronics bigger than a cellphone and flying into this country via “ten airports in eight countries from North Africa and the Middle East” are now required to stow those items in their checked luggage.

According to a report in The Hill on Tuesday, electronic items, including laptops, tablets, and portable DVD players are affected by the ban, which targets travelers coming into the U.S. from airports located in Amman, Jordan; Cairo; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Doha, Qatar; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, both in the United Arab Emirates; Istanbul; Casablanca, Morocco; and Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, if they’re flying nonstop out of the affected, Muslim-majority countries, several of which are U.S. allies.

It was reported that the nine airlines that make daily runs into the U.S. from these cities have until Friday to begin complying with the new order. According to officials, U.S. airlines aren’t affected, since “they don’t fly directly in or out of the cities.”

“The ban comes after reports that terror groups plan to smuggle explosives in everyday electronic devices, as well as target commercial airlines,” according to The Hill.

The DHS has stated that banning electronics on these flights is an effort “to balance risk with impacts to the traveling public and has determined that cell phones and smart phones will be allowed in accessible property at this time.”

With daily flights coming into New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal, Royal Jordanian Airlines will be affected by the ban but reportedly said that the company has not begun to enforce the new rules, since they have not yet received orders from the DHS, despite reports that the ban is currently in place.

Officials at Cairo International Airport also claimed that they have yet to be given guidelines regarding the ban, noting that their passengers traveling on an EgyptAir flight to New York earlier in the day were permitted to take their larger devices in their carry-on bags.

The DHS has stated, however, that the ban will “remain in place until the threat changes,” and U.S. citizens are now required to comply, with the exception of airline employees and those transporting large medical devices.

According to a spokesperson for the DHS, the electronics ban has nothing to do with the president’s revised travel ban and does not “target specific nations,” stating, “We relied upon evaluated intelligence to determine which airports were affected.”

H/T: The Hill

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