UPDATE 6-U.S. to ban some airline passengers from carrying larger electronics
(Adds comment from EgyptAir sources)
By David Shepardson and Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) - Passengers on some U.S.-bound foreign airline flights will have to check electronic devices larger than a cell phone once U.S. authorities formalize a new ban in response to an unspecified terrorism threat, U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday.
The new rule is expected to be announced Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security, the officials said, adding that it had been under consideration since the U.S. government learned of a threat several weeks ago.
A source said the rule would cover around eight to 10 foreign airlines. A separate government official confirmed an Associated Press report that the ban will affect 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Reuters reported earlier the ban would include airlines based in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The officials did not name the other countries.
No American carriers would be affected by the ban, the officials said. Passengers would be allowed to carry larger devices such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras in their checked luggage.
CNN, citing an unnamed U.S. official, said the ban on electronics on certain airlines was related to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and that some information came from a recent U.S. special forces raid in Yemen. Reuters could not immediately confirm the CNN report, but Reuters has reported the group has planned several foiled bombing attempts on Western-bound airlines.
Royal Jordanian Airlines said in a tweet on Monday that U.S.-bound passengers would be barred from carrying most electronic devices aboard aircraft starting Tuesday at the request of U.S. officials, including those that transit through Canada. Passengers can still carry cell phones and approved medical devices. Continued...