Travellers may be prohibited from taking laptop computers on a longer list of international flights, according to US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
“We may take measures in the not-too-distant future to expand the number of airports,” Kelly told a US Senate committee.
Last month, the US banned travellers from bringing large electronic devices onboard flights from ten airports in eight nations in the Middle East and Africa, citing concerns about terrorists building bombs that could be secreted in laptop computers and other devices.
The UK quickly followed the US lead in prohibiting laptops and other devices in the passenger cabin on flights from some of these airports, namely Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, Cairo International Airport, Ataturk International airport in Turkey, King Abdul-Aziz International Airport and King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia, although not Kuwait International Airport, Mohammed V Airport in Morocco, Hamad International Airport in Qatar, Dubai International Airport, and Abu Dhabi International Airport.
CNN reported that Kelly told lawmakers that the ban was in response to “a real threat” and was not directed at Muslim-majority countries for any religious reason.
“We know on any given day, there are dozens of [terrorist] cells that are talking about aviation, and you just watch them over time and see if they develop and they go from talking to actually doing something,” he said. “So there’s a real threat all the time.”
Full details of the restrictions currently in place on flights to the US can be seen on the Department of Homeland Security website.