US may ban laptops on all flights from Europe

US may ban laptops on all flights from Europe

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WASHINGTON (TIP): The Department of 
Homeland Security is considering banning laptops and other 
large electronic devices from carry-on bags on flights from Europe to 
the United States,
 a department spokesman said May 10. The action would extend a limited 
ban that was put in place in March+ . At that time, the United States 
and Britain barred passengers traveling through airports in 10 Muslim 
majority countries from carrying laptop computers, tablets and other 
devices larger than cellphones aboard direct inbound flights. The larger
 items were to be stowed with checked luggage.

The ban was put in place after 
intelligence showed that the Islamic State was developing a bomb that 
could be hidden in portable electronic devices.

David Lapan, a spokesman for the 
Department of Homeland Security, said the agency had not decided 
whether to extend the ban. “We’ll likely expand the restrictions,” 
he said.

John F. Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, is to brief senators on security topics Thursday, according to a Senate aide.

Officials did not say when a new ban 
might be imposed. A senior official with a US airline said that carriers
 had been in talks with government officials for weeks about 
the possibility of an expanded ban, mainly over the logistics 
of carrying it out. The particular problem is passengers connecting in 
Europe from flights originating in the Middle East and Africa.

An intelligence official, who, like the 
airline official, was not authorized to speak publicly about the 
potential ban, said it was being considered because of concerns 
that radicalized citizens of European Union nations+ or people with dual
 citizenship could target US-bound flights.

US officials have tried in recent years 
to increase the vetting of those traveling into the country. Last year, 
the Obama administration revised a program that allowed citizens of 
about 38 countries, mostly in Europe, to visit the United States without
 a visa on trips of 90 days or less.

The changes made it harder for travelers to enter the United States from Europe if they had dual citizenship in IranIraq, Sudan or Syria,
 or had visited one of those countries in the previous five years. The 
rules were later extended to those who had visited Libya, Somalia 
and Yemen. Another government official, also speaking on the condition 
of anonymity, said the new ban was being considered because the US 
government considered immigration policies in Europe to be lax. (PTI)


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