The US has declared that it will not allow mobile phones - especially i Phones and Samsung's Galaxy - onto US bound planes from some airports in Europe, the Middle East and Africa if the devices are not charged.
The new measure, which is bound to cause chaotic scenes at airports around the globe, is part of the US Transportation Security Administration's effort to boost surveillance amid concerns that terrorists are plotting to blow up an airliner.
S.- or Europe-bound planes with bombs concealed on foreign fighters carrying Western passports, the officials said. Its innovative bombmaker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, built an underwear bomb used in a failed 2009 effort to bring down a Detroit-bound airliner, and his devices were implicated in other plots.
But I don’t want people to think that this is just a sort of a blip for a week.
This is part of an evolving and constant review about whether the checks keep up with the nature of the threats.’US-based airlines had little to say about the enhanced security.
US officials are concerned that a cellphone, tablet, laptop or other electronic device could be used as a bomb by Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamist Nusra Front, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria.
The Islamist Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate involved in fighting with Syrian rebels to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, is also thought to be plotting an airliner attack, according to intelligence reports.
As part of the increased scrutiny at certain airports, security agents may ask travelers to turn on their electronic devices at checkpoints and if they do not have power, the devices will not be allowed on planes, the TSA said.
No doubt the new measures have the potential to create frantic searches for chargers at airports and one US source familiar with the matter said laptop computers are also among the devices security screeners may also require passengers to turn on.
S.-bound direct flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
An official familiar with the matter said the United States believes that while it is possible there may be some additional delays at security checkpoints, at most major airports passengers will not be seriously inconvenienced.‘Whether it is for ever – I can’t make any predictions.
The TSA did not disclose which airports would be conducting the additional screening, however it was reported last week that passengers at British airports traveling to the US are facing extra checks on phones.US officials singled out smartphones including i Phones made by Apple Inc and Galaxy phones made by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for extra security checks on U.