UK follows US electronic curbs on ME flights

UK follows US electronic curbs  on ME flights
Updated 22 March 2017

UK follows US electronic curbs on ME flights

UK follows US electronic curbs  on ME flights

JEDDAH/WASHINGTON: The US and Britain on Tuesday imposed restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming from certain airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats.
“The US transportation authorities have implemented new procedures on US-bound flights, which include taking any laptops, iPads and Kindles (electronic readers), with their carry-on baggage,” Saudia said in a statement sent to Arab News.
“These devices can be accepted as part of checked-in luggage only,” Saudia spokesman Mansour Al-Badr told Arab News: “We do not know the reasons behind the ban.”
The US Department of Homeland Security said passengers traveling from a specific list of airports could not bring into the main cabin devices that are larger than a mobile phone such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras.
Instead, such items must be in checked baggage.
A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said that there would be curbs on electronic items in the main cabin on flights from six countries in the Middle East. The foreign office said the measures would be implemented by March 25.
The moves were prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices inside electronic gadgets, US officials told reporters on Monday.
“The US government is concerned about terrorists’ ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years,” a US counter-terrorism official said in a statement, adding that efforts were “intensifying.”
French and Canadian officials said they were examining their arrangements but neither government was taking additional security measures at this stage.
The airports covered by the US restrictions are in Cairo, Istanbul, Kuwait City, Doha, Casablanca, Amman, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.