Following the US government’s ban, Britain is now set to ban passengers from carrying most electronic devices on flights from certain countries in the Middle East, reported Sky News Tuesday. The US government temporarily barred passengers from bringing devices other than mobile phones on planes coming in from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The US ban, which was in response to unspecified threats, said that laptops, iPads, cameras and other electronic devices would not be allowed as carry-on luggage.
Sky News reported that security sources have said the details of the UK ban might differ from the US government’s measures, and would be confirmed later in the day.
The reason for the US government’s ban was not immediately clear and US security officials would not comment. The ban was revealed Monday through statements from Royal Jordanian Airlines and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia. A US official told AP that the ban would apply to non-stop flights to the US from 10 international airports in Cairo, Egypt; Amman, Jordon; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Istanbul, Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE.
The ban would affect nine airlines in total, another US official said, adding that the Transportation Security Administration would inform the affected airlines at 3 am, ET Monday.
Royal Jordanian said cellphones and medical devices were excluded from the ban. Everything else, the airline said, would need to be packed in checked luggage. Royal Jordanian said the electronics ban affects its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.
Brian Jenkins, an aviation-security expert at the Rand Corp, said the nature of the security measure suggested that it was driven by intelligence of a possible attack. He added that there could be concern about inadequate passenger screening or even conspiracies involving insiders – airport or airline employees – in some countries.