Trump administration bans iPads, laptops and other devices in cabin on flights from certain Middle Eastern airports; Britain follows suit

“The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming to the United States from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified terrorism threats,” Reuters reports. “The Department of Homeland Security said passengers traveling from those airports could not bring devices larger than a cellphone, such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras, into the main cabin. Instead, they must be in checked baggage. The new restrictions were prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets, officials told reporters on a conference call on Monday.”

“The airports are in Cairo; Istanbul; Kuwait City; Doha, Qatar; Casablanca, Morocco; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates,” Reuters reports. “The airports affected by the electronics rules are served by nine airlines that fly directly from those cities to the United States about 50 times a day, senior government officials said. The carriers — Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways , Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways — have until Friday to comply with the new policy, which took effect early on Tuesday and will be in place indefinitely.”

“The policy does not affect any American carriers because none fly directly to the United States from the airports, officials said. Officials did not explain why the restrictions only apply to travelers arriving in the United States and not for those same flights when they leave the United States,” Reuters reports. “Reuters reported Monday that the move had been under consideration since the U.S. government learned of a threat several weeks ago. U.S. officials have told Reuters the information gleaned from a U.S. commando raid in January in Yemen that targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula included bombmaking techniques.”

Read more in the full article here.

“British passengers on holiday flights from the Middle East and North Africa will be banned within days from carrying laptops, tablets and other electronic devices on board after security services identified a new al-Qaeda terrorist threat,” Steven Swinford reports for The Telegraph. “More than 2 million passengers a year flying on airlines including British Airways, Thomson, Thomas Cook and Easyjet will be prevented from taking devices larger than a mobile phone into the cabin. Instead, anyone flying from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia will have to put electronic devices in their hold luggage, despite concerns they could be stolen or damaged.”

“The Government introduced the ban after a similar move by the US, where officials revealed ‘evaluated intelligence’ showed that terrorists are “aggressively pursuing innovative measures” to carry out attacks with devices such as laptop bombs,” Swinford reports. “The intelligence is believed to have come from a raid by US Navy Seals in Yemen in January, which targeted al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP). It resulted in the death of a soldier, but yielded ‘important intelligence,’ according to President Donald Trump.”

“US security analysts are also said to have picked up increased “chatter” in recent weeks from militants saying they want to hide explosives in computers,” Swinford reports. “Last year the insurgent group al-Shabaab smuggled an explosive-filled laptop on a flight out of Mogadishu, Somalia, blowing a hole in the side of a plane.”

A hole was blown in the side of a plane last year caused by an explosive-filled laptop  (Photo: AP)
A hole was blown in the side of a plane last year caused by an explosive-filled laptop (Photo: AP)

“The restrictions will cover all electronic devices larger than 6.3ins (16cm) long, 3.6 inches (9.3cm) wide and 0.6 inches (1.5cms) deep. The ban will hit tablets, laptops, handheld games consoles, e-readers such as Kindles and portable DVD players,” Swinford reports. “The ban explicitly refers only to direct flights to Britain, leaving a potential loophole for people who fly via other European hubs. Government sources suggested that other European nations are likely to follow the UK’s example.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: On the bright side, iPhone 7 Plus sales are set to skyrocket, er… increase greatly in areas affected by the ban.


  1. The challenges we face as a Nation are great. But our people are even greater.

    And none are greater or braver than those who fight for America in uniform.

    We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero — battling against terrorism and securing our Nation.

    I just spoke to General Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, “Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.” Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom — we will never forget him.

    To those allies who wonder what kind of friend America will be, look no further than the heroes who wear our uniform. — President Donald Trump, March 1, 2017

  2. So the one place portable devices are needed most to alleviate flight boredom are denied? Nice. Let’s hope that isn’t part of a wider global and domestic trend. Terrorists ruin all our fun while gaining nothing worth having.

      1. Yeah, because all the non-Muslim terrorists in the world are such fun guys. Tim McVeigh, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Seung-Hui Cho, James Holmes, and Dylann Roof were real party animals. I’m sure any of their 234 victims would agree that they felt so much better not being killed by a Muslim.

        Our current President attended at least one fundraiser for the political arm of the Irish Republican Army in 1995, months before Catholic terrorists set off a bomb in the London Docklands that killed two people and caused £150MM in damage.

        1. lol this person said 234 victims as if that’s a huge number compared to the untold Millions around the world that are effected including the thousands of people in our very own United States.

          I am not diminishing the 234 victims life but in the grand scale of things, 9/11 alone blew that number out of the water not including all of the other Muslim teorrorists attacks we’ve had in the USA since then.
          (And not including the rest of the world)

          1. Perhaps the “untold thousand of people affected in our very own United States” are untold because they do not exist. In the last 15 years, fewer Americans have been killed by Muslims than the 234 killed by non-Muslims in just the 5 mass casualty events I listed above (there were many, many more).

            There is no Irish ban, despite more UK citizens having died in terrorist attacks during The Troubles than in attacks by Muslims. The IRA was financed by Americans; we didn’t have trouble with that brand of terrorism. As I say, Mr. Trump was not ashamed to have participated in a fund-raising event.

            There are very few cases of “Muslim terrorists” within the U.S. who were not American citizens or permanent residents. With the single exception of the 9/11 attacks, persons with visitor’s visas have rarely been involved, and almost all of those came from countries not affected by either the original travel ban or this set of travel restrictions.

            You know how many Americans have been killed by citizens of the countries listed in the carry-on ban since 2001? None that I know of.

            How many killed EVER from the countries listed in the original travel ban? Zero.

            How many non-fatal terrorist attacks have involved refugees from those countries? Three, all involving immigrants from just one country, Somalia.

            To put that in perspective: Roughly 140,000 people died during the dissolution of Yugoslavia. At least 85% of them (including perhaps 60,000 Muslims) were killed by Christians. Just since 1998, well over 3 million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo, mostly at the hands of men who would claim to be Christians. There have been 129 murders so far in 2017 in just one American city, Chicago, none of which involved Islamic terrorism.

            I am not diminishing the lives of the Americans and Europeans who were actually killed by terrorists purporting to be Islamists, but those losses need to be placed in the perspective of the extreme violence in Western society from all sources.

            All that overreaction is going to do is foster radicalization by Americans and Europeans who see their religion under attack by their fellow citizens. That will make us less safe, not more safe.

            1. Please explain why false.

              Sure, we need to protect ourselves from violence, including Islamist violence, but demonizing a religion held by billions of mostly non-violent folks will, as I said, make us less safe in the long run. Nor is it helpful to ignore the many other, and probably more realistic, threats to our safety by diverting all our resources from those threats to this one. An American today is many times more likely to become the victim of a Christian or secular criminal than of an Islamist terrorist.

            2. Islam is NOT a religion, leftists are too stupid or evil (or both) to realize this. It’s a complete social system. You’re either in or your out (Kafir). I’ll agree with you to an extent, you’re much less likely to get attacked by a Muslim than by an illegal alien thug from Mexico or South America. This is just a symptom of what commie progs have done to America. Justice is coming.

            3. Once again, you post with reason, logic, and data, TxUser. The enemies of modern civilization are extremism and terrorism leading to death and destruction, anarchy, and chaos.

              No one disputes that those purporting to be Muslim have committed terrorist acts, although the vast majority of the peaceful people who follow that faith believe that it is being perverted in the name of violence. The vast majority of Christians would say the same when those who purport to be Christians commit terrorist acts. I fail to understand why some people insist on attaching “Muslim” or “radical Muslim” to the word terrorist, as if there are no other types. Are you trying to score some kind of political points as a Trump follower?

              Once again…our enemies are extremism and terrorism leading to death and destruction, anarchy, and chaos.

            4. Intel from the Yemeni raid shows these devices are being developed with bombs.

              If this would’ve happened six months ago you would be jumping up and down and so proud your boy-leader took a tough stance.

              Still clueless I see.

            5. Of course one star, why agree with reality when it is SO much easier to be a liberal????

              Just make up your own world and expect everyone else to live in it. What a joke of a party the left has become.

        2. Don’t forget those from terrorists from your country, your ex-president the shrub, by far one of the most devious terrorist of modern times. Ignores the UN, Invades a country for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and kills thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians (non of them from your country, oh no can’t have a war where your precious country loses civilian lives, that wouldn’t be a level playing field), sidesteps the Geneva convention and introduces state sponsored torture into your country.

          And the war just keeps on going. I bet you are still searching for the weapons of mass destruction program, your nation is that stupid. It goes hand in hand with being a terrorist.

  3. BriLLiaNT….what could gO wRoNG………

    Damages and theft of valuables FORCED into checked bags….
    Liquids leaking into electronics causing a lithium thermal run-away Fire in the baggage hold(ask a pilot about battery fires)
    No firefighting access during flight
    NO in-flight entertainment(removed when ipads/laptops used)
    Business class flyers pay $6-9K for a ticket and can’t do any work, yeah thats gonna work….mmmmkay……

    I give the TSA/Homeland inSecurity about 3 weeks before the nightmare is recinded!!!!

    How about equipment and training for the savage nations that have problems with”insider-employees” sneaking bombs on flights!!!

    iPhone 7+ sales will skyrocket.

    1. FWIW, commercial aircraft do have fire suppression systems including detectors and halon gas. It’s still of course a risk, and certainly your other issues apply, but if there’s actionable intelligence suggesting an attack using these devices, it does make sense to ban them temporarily and from specific areas.

      1. Sorry but the “battery issue” has been around since 09/12. More Homeland Theater for the masses. The tech exisits to scan these devices with 100% integrity.
        Wait for the in-flight passenger meltdowns and the re-routing and work-arounds of video conference calls etc etc to eliminate this BS.
        Then “magically” the threat will have “subsided”.

        1. Forgot this little gem from the FAA—-
          FAA battery fire testing has highlighted the potential risk of a catastrophic aircraft loss due to damage resulting from a lithium battery fire or explosion. Current cargo fire suppression systems cannot effectively control a lithium battery fire,” the agency wrote in an alert in February.
          My original premise remains INTACT……!!

          1. Fire suppression systems on airplanes are proven capable of handling the lithium ion devices everyone brings aboard today, whether in cargo or on the passenger deck.

            FWIW, consumer lithium batteries are not anywhere as dangerous to an airplane as the fear mongering would suggest. Remember that bombers inWWII would limp home with huge holes everywhere. Well guess what, commercial jetliners are even more durable. They are designed for 20 years of use and have very sophisticated backup systems to keep passengers safe. Lithium like any fire can be contained until the plane lands. Just don’t pour water on it. Airplanes use halon and other fire suppressants.

          2. All products have potential for catastrophic failure, which is a specific term in FAA regulations by the way. Airplane makers are required to reduce the risk of catastrophic failure to 1 in a billion for the life of the plane. And that does include foreseeable terrorist devices that could pass through airport security.

            The likelihood that you incur any injuries on an airplane is less likely than you getting killed by lightning at your home.

            Why did they ban samsung note 7 then? economics. The possibility of flight diversions and delays due to a known samsung issue just wasn’t worth the hassle. Deploying airplane fire protection isn’t a great way to gain loyal customers and press.
            This just goes to show how powerful fearmongering is.

    2. Several of the airlines affected in the UK are budget outfits that charge prohibitive fees if you check a bag. If you don’t pay the fees (which budget holiday-makers usually can’t), you can’t take a camera to record your vacation or an iPad to entertain your children.

      Not that it makes much difference, given the likelihood that an expensive checked device at an airport with questionable security will not be stolen. If their passenger screening is unacceptable, why is cargo perfectly safe?

      I hope some of the folks who thought of this are seated next to a fidgety child on a 10-hour flight with nothing to do, or perhaps next to an executive who spends 10 hours constantly complaining about how much money he is losing because he cannot work during the flight.

      There are a lot of places in the world that you simply cannot reach without traveling through one of these airports. Dubai is one of the most important financial and commercial centers on the planet. No wonder the stock markets went down today.

  4. Other countries should follow suit. Too bad the Iraqi government did not ban guns, iPads, laptops and other devices totally from flights and/or boats coming from Apple’s home nation.

    Oh wait, that wouldn’t of mattered, that nation doesn’t follow care about the sovereignty of other nations anyway.

  5. More idiocy that will do nothing to make flying safer, just what we need.

    Nothing like putting one’s valuable devices where it is an easy mark for baggage handlers to steal.

  6. , switch on device check, X-rays, sniffer dogs….

    but of course many Islamic countries ban dogs as ‘haram’ (not allowed).

    (x-rays, sniffer dogs etc. seem better than putting potential bombs into check in luggage right? How does putting into check in solve it?)

  7. As the Hawaiian judge said, since Trump made anti Islam statements during the campaign, banning iPads from Middle East carriers is not who we are. Temporary restraining order. Approved.

  8. At some point the Trump supporters will realize how badly they have been hoodwinked by a paranoid president. Every executive order has taken away freedoms. Honeymoon is over.

    1. “Every executive order,” eh?

      Perhaps you are not aware of these:

      – Executive Order Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
      – Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
      – Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees
      – Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs
      – Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System
      – Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda

      Each one of these orders contributes in some way to RESTORING freedoms that were curtailed by the previous administration. It’s really the sheeple who are mindlessly repeating the slogans of the Trump-haters who have been hoodwinked. No, Trump is not perfect, and I’ll be quick to disagree with anyone who says he is. But he IS the President, and dishonest criticism (i.e., ignoring the good and only screaming about the bad) is only going to get you ignored, because you won’t participate in the discussion – you will only throw bricks.

      1. You are one of the few who still believe the Trump propaganda.

        I recommend you look at what Trump’s cabinet does rather than what press events Trump uses to distract the masses.

  9. So it’s better if such a manipulated device explodes in the cargo bay? What’s next? Will customers have to send their devices to Langley first before flying to the USA?

  10. The same people who now criticize Mr. Trump and his admin were somehow OK with Mr. Obama signing off (twice) when Congress re-upped the NDAA and Patriot Act. Hypocrisy much?

  11. Soooo, what keeps that terrorist from flying to a non-restricted country and then to the US? A few hundred bucks for the additional ticket?

    This action doesn’t seem to have addressed anything – just makes it harder and more expensive for legal, non-dangerous people to travel.

  12. Considering the events in London yesterday, it could have been there was some chatter about something coming.

    Don’t just blame Trump when Britain follows suit. There is some solid reason behind the ban.

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