US electronics ban for Middle East flights endangers passengers for profit

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US electronics ban for Middle East flights endangers passengers for profit

US electronics ban for Middle East flights endangers passengers for profit

The Emirates airline confirmed today it was implementing restrictions following a security directive from the US Transportation Security Administration. They will cover all devices larger than a mobile phone, and are expected to stay in force until at least October. Passengers will instead have to stow the kit with their checked baggage. The US Department for Homeland Security said the procedures would ‘remain in place until the threat changes’, and did not rule out extending them. The restrictions apply to airlines flying direct to the United States from airports in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Morocco and Qatar. The airports affected are in Amman, Cairo, Kuwait City, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Morocco, Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Concerns were raised last year when insurgent group al-Shabaab smuggled an explosive-filled laptop on to a flight out of Mogadishu. It blew a hole in the side of the plane, but the aircraft was still low enough that the pilot was able to land the plane safely. The tougher rules come weeks after it was revealed that UK security services have foiled 13 potential attacks in less than four years, while counter-terrorism units are running more than 500 investigations at any time. The official threat level for international terrorism has stood at severe, meaning an attack is ‘highly likely’, for more than two years. US president Donald Trump has attempted to introduce a travel ban aimed at people from Muslim-majority countries, which has run into trouble in the US courts.
WHAT ARE THE US RESTRICTIONS?
The US has imposed restrictions on flights originating from eight mainly Muslim countries. Passengers flying to the States from 10 airports will no longer be allowed to have any electronic devices apart from mobiles phones in the cabin. The authorities have not given details of any specific threat that triggered the move. The US Department for Homeland Security said the procedures would ‘remain in place until the threat changes’, and did not rule out extending them. The restrictions apply to airlines flying direct to the United States from airports in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Morocco and Qatar. The airports affected are in Amman, Cairo, Kuwait City, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Morocco, Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.