Electronics Travel Ban: Reported Terrorist Plot Used Fake iPad As An Explosive

Under the new bans, electronic devices larger than smartphones, such as laptops, tablets and gaming devices, will have to be checked on some global flights. The assertion comes from a new report citing "security sources", which claim that the iPad bomb threat became part of "a combination of factors" that led to the controversial bans. The source did not reveal any timing, the country involved, or the group behind the planned attack.

One of those, according to the source, was the discovery of a plot to bring down a plane with explosives hidden in a fake iPad that appeared as good as the real thing.

So far only the USA and United Kingdom have enacted these bans, but according to The Guardian, France was also considering a ban.

Last year, the Islamist terrorist organization al-Shabaab smuggled an explosive-filled laptop onto a flight out of Mogadishu.

Intelligence agencies had said that terrorists could hide explosives in batteries for laptops and tablets.

The UK government has issued an electronics ban on all devices measuring more than the average smartphone on flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

In the United States, reports of the ban circulated beginning Monday, March 20, the same day when the edict was distributed in a confidential email by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

As the newspaper pointed out, concealing explosives in the cabin area can do more damage than storing a bomb in the hold, where it may be tucked between other luggage, away from the skin of the aircraft. While the U.S. also has a ban, countries in Europe, including Germany, have so far failed to follow suit.

Security concerns over explosives masked and disguised as harmless, common electronics have some merit, as ArsTechnica notes.

The U.K. ban applies to inbound flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey, while the US placed its restrictions on airports in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

  • Arturo Norris