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US said to push for increased air security measures on laptops
[WASHINGTON] The US Department of Homeland Security will announce that it's pushing overseas airports to increase security on electronics or face a ban on US-bound passengers carrying laptops in airplane cabins, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The expected agency announcement follows months of discussions over whether to extend a ban on laptops and other larger electronics in cabins. DHS is stopping short of the complete prohibition that DHS Secretary John Kelly had threatened. The person asked not to be named discussing the plans before the official announcement.
The initial ban began March 21 when DHS announced that passengers flying to the US from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa couldn't carry electronic devices larger than mobile phones into the cabin.
The ban was prompted by intelligence indicating terrorist groups may be capable of concealing bombs in the devices. The electronics can be stored in checked bags, which are more thoroughly screened for explosives.
Within weeks, officials said that the Trump administration was considering expanding the ban on laptops, tablets and other devices to US-bound flights from Europe and elsewhere. European officials and airlines have pushed back, arguing that other security measures would reduce the risks without requiring such large-scale disruptions.
Mr Kelly said in congressional testimony June 7 that the federal government is considering expanding the ban to US-bound flights from 71 airports. Those could include those located in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the department said.