United States bans computers and tablets on flights from a dozen countries
The US government has banned passengers traveling on certain flights from abroad to the United States in the cabin of the aircraft large electronic devices, according to official sources quoted by Reuters. The devices will have to travel in the hold of the plane inside the checked bag of the passenger. The restriction, which response to a presumed terrorist threat, includes devices such as a laptop or tablet, but mobile phones and certain medical devices are excluded.
The measure only affects foreign airlines flying from a dozen countries, including some in the Middle East, such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The veto can be officially announced in the coming hours after several weeks in consideration.
The Royal Jordanian airline announced on Monday that the ban affects its direct flights to the United States or with stopovers in Canada and the United States, according to Reuters. Saudia, the Saudi airline has also confirmed that the ban takes effect on Wednesday. Emirates and Etihad have told Reuters via e-mail that they have not received any official communications.
A Saudi newspaper has also reported that Washington has told Riyadh that on flights to the US, passengers will have to check their computers and tablets.
It is not uncommon for the US to suddenly reinforce security on certain flights from abroad, but it is unusual to push for such a severe restriction.
In July 2014, it was authorized to temporarily security agents at airports to ask passengers to turn on their electronic devices and, in the case of not having enough battery to do so, they could confiscate the. Security enhancement hit some airports in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East with direct flights to US cities and responded to fears that Al Qaeda had developed a new type of bomb that was very difficult to detect.
Since assuming the US presidency in late January, Donald Trump has promoted a hard-hitting border policy. The Republican has approved two decrees, both stopped by the justice, to temporarily prohibit the entry into the US of citizens of certain countries of Muslim majority claiming security reasons. Trump has also expanded the number of border agents.