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DHS Secretary: U.S. 'might' expand laptop ban to all global flights

DHS Secretary: U.S. 'might' expand laptop ban to all global flights

The authorities in the U.S. are still considering banning laptops from cabin baggage on all global flights, the head of Homeland Security says.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly told Fox News on Sunday that he was considering the laptop ban as "there's a real threat". "There's a real threat", Kelly said, adding that terrorists are "obsessed" with the idea of downing a plane in flight, "particularly if it's a US carrier, particularly if it's full of mostly USA folks". "That is really the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it is a U.S. carrier, particularly if it is full of mostly USA folks".

"Well, there's a real threat", Kelly continued.

If Homeland Security goes ahead with the expansion of the ban, we can expect other airlines to follow Emirates' example, though such VIP services will likely do little to alleviate the annoyance felt by passengers forced to fall into line.

U.S. officials reportedly considered banning laptops and other devices from carry-on bags on flights from Europe in early May, Gizmodo reported. We know more than most. Last week, Politico reported that U.S. airlines are still preparing for an "imminent" expansion of the ban to Europe and possibly other regions.

"Well, there's a real threat", said Kelly, despite strong intelligence sharing between the US and other countries.




The US Transportation Security Administration is testing tighter security requirements that require people bringing carry-on baggage to unpack it and separate out items such as food, paper and electronics.

Kelly said that in order to avoid paying fees for checking bags, people were stuffing them to the point where it was hard to see through the clutter. The measure prohibits passengers from bringing any devices that are "larger than a smartphone" as carry-on items, and was implemented, United States officials say, to thwart terrorist plots to bring down planes with smaller bombs.

The TSA is testing these new screening procedures at several airports in the U.S., involving passengers removing additional items from carry-on bags for separate screenings.

The laptop ban came into effect on March 21, this year, when the DHS prohibited travelers from ten airports in eight countries from taking laptops, tablets and other larger electrics devices in carry-on bags.

That greater scrutiny could be expanded to the entire country, Kelly told Fox News Sunday.


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