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Electronics Ban Not Declared for Terrorist Threat

New reports suggest U.S. did not remove electronics from cabins due to attack concerns.

Speaking anonymously, officials inside the United States government now suggest that the ban on in-cabin electronics has little to do with a terrorism threat from several primarily Islamic nations. NBC News reports that the anonymous sources contradict the official message that removing large electronics from cabins would help foil a terrorist plot in the near future.

When the electronics ban went into place earlier in March, the government announced that they were working on “intelligence” suggesting the next major aviation terrorist attack would be a bomb inside an electronic device. However, several officials speaking to NBC said the ban was guided more over internal airport security concerns.

The 10 airports were singled out because the airports did not match the “infrastructure and security apparatus” required to discover explosives, one official said. Another went on to note that the threat is “significant,” and could create major safety problems for aviation in the future.

“This is something they could have decided to do last month, or never,” an anonymous official told NBC. “There is no new critical piece of intelligence, but at the same time there are bad people trying to do bad things.”

Under the newly implemented sanctions, passengers are not allowed to board their aircraft with any electronic item bigger than a smartphone. Other items, including DVD players, tablet computers and laptops must be checked in. Approximately 50 flights per day flying direct to the United States are affected by the ban. The United Kingdom will also implement a similar electronics ban, but on a much smaller scale.

Opponents of the ban put the move on par with the previous travel bans announced by the White House, both of which have been challenged in courts. A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union noted that officials have not necessarily proven a “security rationale that makes sense,” and that the policy “sends a signal of discriminatory targeting and must be heavily scrutinized.”

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BMGRAHAM March 31, 2017

@bkcarolina The UK has a similar ban although one of the airlines affected is British Airways (to the UK only), this has nothing to do with driving people away from better carriers (although I agree that many of these airlines do put US airlines to shame).

N1120A March 31, 2017

This was totally telegraphed. Anyone who has gone through security in those airports knows it is extremely stringent.

bkcarolina March 30, 2017

It's nothing more than an attempt to drive traffic (especially business and first class traffic) away from the carriers that are putting the US airlines to shame with better service. Why Turkish? Because they generally have great prices if you fly from wherever through Istanbul then onward, and their service in every class is far superior to the US Big Three. Gotta find a way to cheat so our mediocre airlines can get more bidniz.

UncleDude March 30, 2017

Th US3 have benefited from the Undue USA "Subsidy of All Time" Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. Like the current President - Multiple times in some cases.

boogen March 30, 2017

Could be both the above. I would think it's an attempt to get the respective governments to take security seriously. Even though Abu Dhabi has a US pre-clearance, I suspect the employee screening is seriously lacking. Like in the Sinai, it was an employee that enabled the bomb to be smuggled on board.