HUFFINGTON POST
03/21/2017 12:19 pm ET Updated Mar 21, 2017

U.K. To Also Ban Large Electronics On Some Flights From Middle East, Africa

The U.S. implemented a similar regulation this week in response to intelligence reports about terror targets.

The threat of terrorism has prompted the United Kingdom to follow the United States’ lead and ban passengers from having electronics larger than a cellphone in the cabin on U.K.-bound flights from certain countries, The Associated Press reports.

The ban will affect flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, according to a U.K. government spokesperson. 

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and the U.S. have in recent weeks discussed intelligence reports about intensifying terrorist threats to aviation, according to CNN.

“We have been in close touch with the Americans to fully understand their position,” the U.K. spokesperson said in a statement. “Airlines affected are being informed of the new requirements.”

The policy affects certain British and foreign carriers: British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia. 

The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation have banned passengers on nine airlines operating in parts of North Africa and the Middle East from having laptops, tablets and other electronic devices in the cabins of flights to the U.S. According to the ban, which went into effect Tuesday morning, people can still travel with larger electronic items in checked baggage.

“Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” the DHS said in a fact sheet released Tuesday. “The record of terrorist attempts to destroy aircraft in flight is longstanding and well-known.”

The DHS noted that there’s no specific end date to the ban, and that it will remain in place “until the threat changes.”

The U.S. regulation affects 10 airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. U.S. officials said Monday that the ban stemmed from intelligence reports that terror groups have expressed interest in targeting U.S. aviation.

These airports were chosen “based on the current threat picture,” the DHS sheet said.

Many of these airports, like those in Doha and Dubai, are major international travel hubs.

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