Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Washington And London Ban Computers On Flights From Arab Countries


The United Kingdom followed suit in the United States on Tuesday by banning laptop computers and tablets in aircraft cabins from Arab countries and Turkey, citing a risk of "terrorist" attacks in a context of tougher Migration policy.


First, to protest, Ankara asked Washington to "step back or lighten" this measure that will affect its nationals traveling by plane.

"The intelligence review indicates that terrorist groups continue to target air transport and are looking for new methods to perpetrate their attacks, such as concealing explosives in consumer goods," one said.

The United Kingdom followed suit in the United States on Tuesday by banning laptop computers and tablets in aircraft cabins from Arab countries and Turkey, citing a risk of "terrorist" attacks in a context of tougher Migration policy.

First, to protest, Ankara asked Washington to "step back or lighten" this measure that will affect its nationals traveling by plane.

Companies such as Emirates or Turkish Airlines operating direct flights from Dubai or Istanbul to the United States have 96 hours as of Tuesday 07:00 GMT to forbid their passengers to embark with larger electronic devices than a mobile phone.

All these devices (laptops, tablets, game consoles, reading lights, DVD players, cameras ...) will have to be placed in the hold baggage of the planes, indicated US officials.




"The intelligence review indicates that terrorist groups continue to target air transport and are looking for new methods to perpetrate their attacks, such as concealing explosives in consumer goods," one said.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly has, therefore "deemed it necessary to strengthen the security procedures for passengers departing directly from certain airports and bound for the United States", added another official, without specifying what specific information Washington Had.
According to CNN, quoting a senior official from Donald Trump's administration, the decision was linked to a threat from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqpa), the branch of the jihadist group in Yemen.

A former Transport Security Agency (TSA) official, Tom Blank, also believes it is a "response to precise data of information brought to the attention of US authorities."

On Saturday, fifty daily flights from nine airlines (Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways) will be deployed from ten international airports : Amman, Cairo, Istanbul, Jeddah, Ryad, Kuwait, Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Casablanca.

- Allied countries of the United States -


Eight countries are concerned, all allies or partners of the United States: Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.

London made an identical decision.
The British ban covers Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia and applies to all direct flights from these countries to the United Kingdom. Fourteen companies are involved, including British Airways and EasyJet.

Paris and Ottawa also said they were considering a similar ban.

In Washington, a US official has cited "several successful incidents and attacks against passengers and airports in recent years," citing the attack claimed by al-Qaida-affiliated Somali Islamists in February 2016: a device exploded Aboard an Airbus A321 from Daallo Airlines with 74 passengers on board 15 minutes after takeoff, causing a 1 meter diameter hole in its fuselage and killing the alleged bomber.

On Democratic opposition to President Trump, Adam Schiff, Democrats' leader in the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives, gave his "full support" to the ban because "we know that terrorist organizations want to kill Of aircraft ".

The US authorities had previously informed the governments and the airlines concerned and some had unveiled since Monday evening some information to their customers.

- Threatened right of theft -


The big Gulf company, Emirates, said the restrictions "would enter into force on 25 March and remain valid until 14 October 2017".

Turkish Airlines informed its passengers that "any electronic or electrical device larger than a mobile phone or smartphone (except medical devices) should not be carried on board flights to the United States.




US officials did not give the ban a deadline but warned that if the measures were not implemented, airlines could lose their rights to fly to the United States.

The decision comes amid a tightening of border controls and more generally US immigration policy since Donald Trump took office on 20 January.

The Republican president is trying to impose a temporary ban on entry into the United States to nationals of six other Muslim-majority countries and to all refugees. This prohibition is contained in a migratory decree that has been blocked by federal judges.

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