The Department of Homeland Security has banned electronics larger than a smart phone on flights from eight countries: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Officials said the ban comes from intelligence about terrorism risks:

“We’re concerned about ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation,” a DHS official said. The official cited terrorist attacks on airports in Brussels and Istanbul as part of a pattern or attacks that justified the ban

Some people have lashed out at President Donald Trump, thinking its another slap in the face towards Muslims. However, the United Kingdom has also adopted this same rule and Canada may follow.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, agreed with the ban after DHS officials briefed him on concerns over the weekend. Schiff stated “that the rules are ‘both necessary and proportional to the threat.'”

The rules apply to ten airports and the nine airlines from those listed countries. Passengers must check in laptops, tablets, and cameras:

The order affects the big three Persian Gulf carriers, Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. The ban also applies to flights operated by Turkish Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and Kuwait Airways.

Airlines on Tuesday moved quickly to comply with the U.S. directive. Saudi Arabia said the new restrictions will affect U.S.-bound flights on Saudia, as the national carrier is known, from the international airports in Riyadh and Jeddah. Emirates Airline, the world’s No. 1 carrier by international traffic, and Turkish Airlines also instructed passengers about the new electronics restrictions. Others followed.

However, the rules do not affect those on flights to those countries. It also does not apply to U.S. airlines “because they don’t directly serve the airports subject to the restrictions.”

“We have reason to be concerned about attempts by terrorist groups to circumvent aviation security and terrorist groups continue to target aviation interests,” the Department of Homeland Security said of the new security measures.

People have lashed out at the ban:

But is Trump onto something?

The United Kingdom has announced a similar ban on direct flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia:

The restrictions, which also apply to tablets, DVD players and phones over a certain size, follow a similar US ban affecting eight countries.

Downing Street said they followed talks on air security and were “necessary, effective and proportionate”.

US officials said bombs could be hidden in a series of devices.
The ban applies to any device, including mobiles and smart phones, larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep.

The rules apply to six UK carriers and eight foreign airlines.

BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford said that the UK’s rule change looks like a “part of co-ordinated action with the US.” He also said that an “attempted downing of an airliner in Somalia last year was linked to a laptop device, and it appears the security precautions are an attempt to stop similar incidents.”

The UK stopped its airlines from flying to Egyptian beach resort of Sharm El Sheikh after the Egyptian arm of the Islamic State took “responsibility for the October 2015 bombing of a Russian Metrojet airliner.” The crash killed all 224 people.

A source within the transportation department in Canada has told The Globe and Mail that officials have started to review the U.S. ban and may implement its own rule:

For the time being, a spokesperson from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority said late Tuesday morning that the security agency has not been told to screen passengers any differently since details of the U.S. plan quietly began rolling out Monday night. “Procedures of passenger screening from Canadian airports has not changed, and passengers should prepare just as they did before these new measures,” the spokesperson said.

The Wall Street Journal has listed other incidents caused by gadgets in the cabin:


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.