U.S. is set to announce a ban on some foreign airline flights from carrying larger electronics on-board.
Passengers on some U.S.-bound foreign flights will have to check electronic devices larger than a cell phone once U.S. authorities formalize the new rule in response to an unspecified terrorism threat learned by the US government weeks ago, U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday.
It is expected that the new rule is to be announced today, Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security.
A source said the rule would affect eight to 10 foreign airlines. A separate government official confirmed an Associated Press report that the ban will affect 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Reuters reported earlier the ban would include airlines based in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The officials did not name the other countries.
No American carriers were affected by the ban, the officials said. Passengers would be allowed to carry larger devices such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras in their checked luggage.
CNN, citing an unnamed U.S. official, said the ban on electronics on certain airlines was related to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and that some information came from a recent U.S. special forces raid in Yemen. Reuters could not immediately confirm the CNN report, but Reuters has reported the group has planned several foiled bombing attempts on Western-bound airlines.
Royal Jordanian Airlines said in a tweet on Monday that U.S.-bound passengers would be barred from carrying most electronic devices aboard aircraft starting Tuesday at the request of U.S. officials, including those that transit through Canada. Passengers can still carry cell phones and approved medical devices.
Saudia Airlines confirmed in a tweet that U.S. transportation authorities had banned carrying larger electronic devices in cabin luggage.
United Arab Emirates carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways told Reuters on Tuesday they had not been advised of any new restrictions on carrying electronic devices on U.S. flights.
A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, David Lapan, said the agency has “no comment on potential security precautions” and would provide an update when appropriate.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly called congressional lawmakers this weekend to notify them of the plan, congressional aides said.