US to Impose ‘Large Electronics’ Ban on Flights From Africa, Middle East

Officials Say Ban Is Related to Yemeni al-Qaeda Threat

by Jason Ditz, March 20, 2017

Exact details of the scope and nature of the ban are still not totally clear, but starting Tuesday, certain larger electronic devices, including tablet PCs, laptops, and video game devices, will be banned as a carry-on for all passengers on flights heading to the United States from a number of Middle Eastern and African countries.

Royal Jordanian Airlines offered some insight with a tweet on the matter announcing the ban excluded cell phones and “needed” medical devices, saying the other devices would be required to be in checked baggage. They added that the ban would cover their flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Montreal.

While the State Department confirmed that “relevant countries and airlines” are being notified, the Department of Homeland Security refused any comment on the matter, saying they would not offer any comments on potential security precautions.

At least 13 countries are said to be included in the ban, but only Jordan and Saudi Arabia have yet been identified. Officials familiar with the situation claimed that the US had been concerned about such an attack by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) for some time, and the concerns have grown since a recent ground raid by US special forces in Yemen.

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