Rabat - An announcement is expected anytime from the UK, saying it will be joining the indefinite US ban of electronics aboard commercial airlines.
Rabat – An announcement is expected anytime from the UK, saying it will be joining the indefinite US ban of electronics aboard commercial airlines.
The US announced a ban on large electronics as part of carry-on luggage aboard commercial flights from a select group of Middle East and African airlines. Devices included in the ban are laptops, tablets, DVD players and E-Readers. These devices and others like them will only be allowed as checked luggage. So far, cell phones have been exempted from the list and will be allowed in the cabin.
According to a report from BBC News, the device ban will affect 9 airlines and 10 airports, including Royal Air Maroc, operating from Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca. Other airlines are Royal Jordanian, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.
The ban, which has no foreseeable end date, is thought to have been instituted based on what BBC security correspondent, Frank Gardner, calls “evaluated intelligence.” Gardner takes it as a sign that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) receivedsome sort of credible word of an extremist plot targeting commercial airlines.
In a statement released by the DHS, officials are clearly concerned about a continued threat to commercial flights from some quarters. “Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling devices in various consumer items.”
It should be noted that no US airlines will be affected by the ban. UK restrictions, when announced, may differ from the US ban. BBC home affairs correspondent, Daniel Sandford, has reported that the imminent UK ban is “… obviously part of coordinated action with the US.”
As reported by Morocco World News, the US ban is linked to reports that Al-Qaida is close to being capable of hiding explosive devices inside electronics to target commercial flights.
The news first emerged from a now deleted tweet by Royal Jordanian: “Following instructions from the concerned US departments, we kindly inform our dearest passengers departing to and arriving from the United States that carrying any electronic or electrical device on board the flight cabins is strictly prohibited.”