Britain orders devices ban on flights from 6 Mideast nations

Only cell phones and approved medical devices would be excluded from the ban. The House will be aware that the United States government made a similar announcement earlier today regarding flights to the United States and we have been in close contact with them to fully understand their position. He added that Turkish officials had spoken about the regulations with their American counterparts and were discussing whether the Trump administration should "step back".

The U.S. action covers 10 airports in the eight countries - Amman, Jordan; Cairo; Istanbul; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; Jiddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

A ban on electronics in hand luggage on some flight routes into the United Kingdom and U.S. is ineffective and damaging, a trade association for commercial airlines warned.

A spokeswoman for the organisation said: "Passengers travelling to the countries affected may wish to consider leaving their electronic devices at home, although this may be hard for many, especially business travellers and families travelling with children". "We relied upon evaluated intelligence to determine which airports were affected". The attack was claimed by Islamist terror group Al-Shabaab.

A British security official also said there have not been, to that official's knowledge, recent European-directed plots involving such explosive devices.

Word of the ban was first made public Monday afternoon - not by administration officials, but in a tweet sent out by Royal Jordanian Airlines.

In its statement, Royal Jordanian said the electronics ban would affect its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal. It means all laptops, cameras, tablets, e-readers, portable DVD players, electronic gaming devices and travel printers or scanners will have to be kept in the cargo hold for the duration of the flight.

It says Australians travelling to the United States or Europe through Middle Eastern countries will be affected by the device ban and should contact their airlines or travel agent for more information.

Turkish government on Wednesday sent a letter to the US administration demanding removal from the ban list, one day after the new security policy carried out by the USA and Britain.

Saudia Airlines confirmed in a tweet that USA transportation authorities had banned carrying larger electronic devices in cabin luggage.

But one said concerns had been "heightened by several successful events and attacks on passenger lanes and airports over the last years".

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly phoned lawmakers over the weekend to brief them on aviation security issues that have prompted the impending electronics ban, according a congressional aide briefed on the discussion. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly about ongoing intelligence operations.

The Turkish government said the USA ban was wrong and should be reversed, said a BBC report.

CNN quoted a USA official as saying the ban was believed to be related to a threat posed by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP.

The federal government will keep monitoring security developments and says it will adjust security measures if needed. The new USA and British rules for electronics appear to address the evolving threat. A number of top Arab officials were expected to attend the State Department gathering.

Announcing the new restrictions, a Government spokesman said: " Decisions to make changes to our aviation security regime are never taken lightly.

Another aviation-security expert, Jeffrey Price, said there could be downsides to the policy.

  • Leroy Wright