DHS secretary: Electronics ban may be expanded to flights departing US

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2016 file photo, a laptop is seen in Las Vegas. Royal Jordanian Airlines is advising passengers that laptops, iPads, cameras and other electronics won’t be allowed in carry-on luggage for U.S.-bound flights starting Tuesday, March 21, 2017. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(CNN) — Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly confirmed to CNN Friday that he is considering expanding the ban on large electronics in airplane cabins to include flights departing from the US to overseas.

If that happens, then it would mean any electronic device larger than a cell phone would not be allowed on some flights leaving the US, not just certain inbound US flights, as is currently the case. Kelly was at Reagan National Airport just outside the nation’s capital in Virginia Friday, meeting and shaking hands with Transportation Security Administration officers and speaking briefly on camera to reporters.

When asked whether it is true that he has hinted the laptop ban could expand to US soil, Kelly said that those characterizations of his thinking are accurate.

“No, they didn’t misread me,” he answered. “I would tell you that the threats against passenger aviation worldwide are constant. The good news is that we have great intelligence collection overseas — US intelligence collection. We also have great sharing with partners overseas. So, we are doing everything we can to get after these threats — but they are real.”

The original ban applies to certain US-bound flights, including those originating in Cairo, Egypt; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

But Kelly signaled this month that he’s looking at possibly expanding the ban due to security concerns.

“The protocol where we put large electronic devices down inside the cargo compartments, … I made that decision based on intelligence from a certain part of the world — sophisticated threats,” Kelly said Friday. “We are now looking at kind of a worldwide hard look at raising the bar, the minimum bar, on aviation security. So, still contemplating extending the ban, as we work with partners.”

He added, “We will make a decision when the time is right.”

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s