United Kingdom joins USA in banning electronic devices on flights from Muslim countries

United Kingdom joins USA in banning electronic devices on flights from Muslim countries

They are among 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa where the United States has banned electronic devices from aircraft.

For people departing from the airports named by the US, devices larger than a mobile telephone, such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras, are prohibited from being carried aboard but can be placed in checked luggage.

"Passengers travelling directly to the United States from India are not affected", the official said. It's unclear how long the ban will be in effect. No American carriers are impacted.

USA officials told journalists the ban wasn't in response to a specific threat, but rather "evaluated intelligence" pointing to terrorists "aggressively pursuing" innovative ways to carry out attacks, reported ZDNet.

The UK announced the electronics ban on Tuesday following a similar move by the US.

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The airline advised passengers to arrive earlier than usual at the airport and told them that they would face extra security checks. A U.S. official told BuzzFeed News the ban had been pushed by the White House, and was spurred by increased chatter in recent weeks that militants wanted to hide bombs in laptops.

Pini Shiff, an airport security expert and former head of the security division at the Israeli Airports Authority, said this morning that the decision could be based only on a focused alert received by the TSA, the agency responsible for the security in United States airports. Cell phones and approved electronic medical devices are still allowed in the cabin of the plane.

The daily flights originate at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai International Airport, Qatar's Hamad International Airport and Turkey's Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Everything else, the airline said, would need to be packed in checked luggage on its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Montreal.

The U.S. government just barred travelers on nonstop flights from eight countries from carrying electronic devices bigger than smartphones into U.S. airports, according to the AP. It's not yet clear if or how this ruling relates to the Trump administration's revised travel ban, which is now being challenged by USA courts.

The ban has been "considered" for several weeks, another official said.