Casablanca and Cairo hit by US portable electronics ban
The US Department of Homeland Security is to implement a ban of passengers carrying personal electronic devices flying from key North African airports of Casablanca and Cairo.
Ten hubs in all have been named by the US Government comprising Istanbul Ataturk, Cairo, Amman, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait Dubai, Abu Dhabi Doha and Casablanca.
the US Department for Homeland Security said “We have reason to be concerned about attempts by terrorist groups to circumvent aviation security and terrorist groups continue to target aviation interests.” It did not detail any specific threat.
It said items such as tablets, laptops, portable DVD players or electronic games etc must be carried in checked baggage contrary to usual passenger advice. It has not said how any threat can be minimised by carrying the personal items in the hold rather than in the cabin.
“Implementing additional security measures enhances our ability to mitigate further attempts against the overseas aviation industry,” says the Department, adding that the new procedures will remain in place “indefinitely”.
The DHS said the ban was necessary as "terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.
In a statement EgyptAIr said it had been given just 96 hours to comply with the new regulation which will take effect today.
The move comes a week after President Donald Trump's second bid to curb travel from a group of Muslim-majority nations was blocked by the courts .
US officials speaking to AL Jazeera on condition of anonymity said the ban was to be implemented in response to an unspecified threat the US government learned of several weeks ago.