Not Just The US: UK Bans Use Of Laptops On Flights From 6 Mostly Muslim Countries

Tyler Durden's picture

One day after the Trump administration imposed restriction on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming to the United States from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified terrorism threats, moments ago the UK issued a similar ban, restricting the use of carry on laptops and tablets for inbound flights for flights originating in the following middle-eastern nations: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and surprisingly, Saudi Arabia.

And so what last night appeared to some to be a capricious decision by the Trump administration, may have been prompted by some actionable intel since the UK has joined the action.

According to Downing Street, no phones, tablets, or laptops bigger than 16cm length, 9.3cm wide and 1.5cm deep would be allowed in the main cabin of the plane. The devices will need to be placed into hold luggage and checked-in instead.

“The safety and security of the travelling public is our highest priority,” said a government spokesperson. “In the last few weeks we have had a number of meetings on aviation security. This morning at a meeting we agreed that these new measures were required.” 

According to the FT, the spokesperson declined to explain how the decision was made, saying, “we would not get into the information on which this decision was taken but we think these steps are necessary and proportionate. We have spoken closely with the US [about which countries they have included] but we have each taken our own decisions on this.”

UK carriers affected by the ban are: British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson.

While we await more detais, a reminder that on Monday afternoon, the DHS said passengers traveling from a selection of airports could not bring devices larger than a cellphone, such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras, into the main cabin. Instead, they must be in checked baggage. The new restrictions were prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets, officials told reporters on a conference call on Monday. They did not provide further details on the threat.

The airports are in Cairo; Istanbul; Kuwait City; Doha, Qatar; Casablanca, Morocco; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.

Officials said the decision had nothing to do with President Donald Trump's efforts to impose a travel ban on six majority-Muslim nations. DHS spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said the government "did not target specific nations. We relied upon evaluated intelligence to determine which airports were affected."

The airports affected by the electronics rules are served by nine airlines that fly directly from those cities to the United States about 50 flights a day, senior government officials said.

The carriers - Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways [KA.UL], Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways - have until Friday to comply with the new policy, which took effect early on Tuesday and will be in place indefinitely.

Several of the carriers, including Turkish Airlines, Etihad and Qatar, said early on Tuesday that they were quickly moving to comply. Royal Jordanian and Saudi Airlines said on Monday that they were immediately putting the directive into place.

An Emirates spokeswoman said the new security directive would last until Oct. 14. However, Christensen termed that date "a placeholder for review" of the rule.

The policy does not affect any American carriers because none fly directly to the United States from the airports, officials said. Officials did not explain why the restrictions only apply to travelers arriving in the United States and not for those same flights when they leave from there. The rules do apply to U.S. citizens traveling on those flights, but not to crew members on those foreign carriers. Homeland Security will allow passengers to use larger approved medical devices.

Angela Gittens, director general of airport association ACI World, likened the move to years-long restrictions of liquids on planes, which she said also came suddenly, in response to a perceived threat, and caused some disruption. Airlines will adjust to the electronics policy, she said. "The first few days of something like this are quite problematic, but just as with the liquids ban, it will start to sort itself out."

DHS said the procedures would "remain in place until the threat changes" and did not rule out expanding them to other airports.

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localstorm's picture

National Security Theater

Erek's picture

Deja vu!

Didn't we go through this "laptop scare" on commercial flights some years ago?

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Looney's picture

 

Oh, no! How can a Bedouin without a laptop or an iPad watch goat-porn during the flight?  ;-)

Looney

Erek's picture

They'll just have to bring their goat with next time.

Gold...Bitches's picture

Easy to do - they just need to say its a service goat for emotional trauma.  Yeah, thats the ticket.

Kotzbomber747's picture

When it comes to mindless knee-jerking, the UK is usually not far behind the US.

This is what pilots think of the new rules; http://theloadstar.co.uk/trying-make-sense-new-us-travel-ban/ http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/592472-us-bans-royal-jordanian-pax-la...
Deathrips's picture

Balfour Declaration was a continuation of the crusades in teh middle east via controlled opposition of Saudi and Israel. British Khazarian money changers retook the USA in 2013 and made it a fiat corp.

 

Till their heads are on pikes we will fight.

 

Physical security.

RIPS

 

 

HowdyDoody's picture

It is nothing to do with security. It is down to government-subsidized US airlines trying to block competition. US airlines complain that carriers in certain Mid East countries receive government subsidy. These airlines are on the list, restricting their access to the US to the benefit of US competition.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/03/us-airlines-ask-for-protectionism-t...

The list of countries selected by the Brits is is different to those selected by the US, reflecting different competitive concerns.

It's just part of the War on Tourists.

Erek's picture

Just like that rapfugee in Germany awhile back who claimed "sexual emergency" after being arrested for rape. I guess he must have lost his goat.

gilhgvc's picture

does this apply to electric kettle drums also?

sgt_doom's picture

You are soooo racists --- I bet you think it's wrong for Saudis to watch the beheading of innocent women for lunchtime entertainment, and rail against Abu Dhabi's home snuff film industry?

You are soooo culturally insensitive . . .

logicalman's picture

I'm wondering when they'll ban shoes and underwear!

 

sgt_doom's picture

"surprisingly, Saudi Arabia" ?!?!?!?

You mean, the Number One financier of global terrorism?

You mean, the doods who at least supplied the cutouts for 9/11?

Truly, I am shocked . . .

TheGardener's picture

Explosives could be weaven into clothes , but just keep up the scare, no need to giving them even more wicked ideas.

Any determined as in just half ass trained individual could fully compromise flight safety. But  much easier though to compromise

the whole fragile lot of if at a much higher level. Any your plane can be remote controlled or any your gay pilot is sick enough

to take his medication to purposedly to fly this thing into the ground.

 

 

 

ejmoosa's picture

Someone knows something, and the American public will be the last to know.

lychee_candle's picture

people in power with sense finally woke up

Erek's picture

"...Officials did not explain why the restrictions only apply to travelers arriving in the United States and not for those same flights when they leave from there...."

That's friggin' easy. If they couldn't bring 'em in, how the heck can they bring 'em back out?

shimmy's picture

The UK is the test centre for big brother policies so I'll remain skeptical of the purpose of this until other countries follow. If a place like Germany follows then I'll believe there truly is a supposed security reason behind it.

I do like the UK doing this so the libtard U.S media and others in the libtard cult have some egg on their face as I'm sure they were slamming Trump over it and will now either have to slam the UK or pretend the UK didn't do this.

earleflorida's picture

4 of the supposedly 911 hijackers went to school in germany and flew into the ussa via germany... in which german intel warned ussa intel of their plot of a diabolical/nefarious action regarding a terrorist attack

the leaks came from the 'Yemen Hub' in which the iraqi intel *[mukhabarat] had infiltrated with 2x agents.

you see,... the fact was that the jihadist had gone to iraq as a safehaven thinking saddam would give them cover knowing that saddam was on the ussa's short-list for demolition. nothing could have been moar absurd regarding the true, truth! saddam hated religious funtamentalist. they threatened his very rule. saddam offered up many a jihadist. he had a list a mile long with financial networks and hubs in various me countries to their wherabouts on his person or available upon request. the ussa ignored him and killed millions in the aftermath!!!

note: researching wikipedia.org. on ussa gov't interest is a hopeless cause of disinformation knowing that the site is a propaganda tool regarding ussa foreign policy.

note2: it is an excellent resourse outlet for 'bare`bone'd' facts!

Winston Churchill's picture

Brings new meaning to a boom box.

IridiumRebel's picture

You fucking racists! They should be allowed to bring anything they want! Hatchets, goats, multiple wives.....goddamned racists!

Cymore Duttz's picture

Racist!!!!!  Muslim Laptop Ban!!!

Quick, someone get a hold of that judge in Seattle and have him stop Trump on this.

Cymore Duttz's picture

Racist!!!!!  Muslim Laptop Ban!!!

Quick, someone get a hold of that judge in Seattle and have him stop Trump on this.

Oildriller's picture

So, no more working on the 30 hour flights to Asia..... What the people that never left Queens or Detroit in their life (and make these rules) do not realize is that there is business going on also outside the EBITDA pay station. Oh, and the baggage handlers (PBUH) will love all the shiny new laptops and iPads they now can bring home!

(This ban affects Qatar, Emirates and Etihad, key for travel to Asia)

Oildriller's picture

So, no more working on the 30 hour flights to Asia..... What the people that never left Queens or Detroit in their life (and make these rules) do not realize is that there is business going on also outside the EBITDA pay station. Oh, and the baggage handlers (PBUH) will love all the shiny new laptops and iPads they now can bring home!

(This ban affects Qatar, Emirates and Etihad, key for travel to Asia)

Oildriller's picture

So, no more working on the 30 hour flights to Asia..... What the people that never left Queens or Detroit in their life (and make these rules) do not realize is that there is business going on also outside the EBITDA pay station. Oh, and the baggage handlers (PBUH) will love all the shiny new laptops and iPads they now can bring home!

(This ban affects Qatar, Emirates and Etihad, key for travel to Asia)

HANGEMHIGHER's picture

Do they not know that Muslims have moved to other peoples countries now. These politicians need updating on what's happened.

Whoa Dammit's picture

They also don't seem to know that all people do not fly non-stop, and can change planes in a country that does not have these restrictions before flying here. Idiocy thy name is Government. 

HenryHall's picture

Lapdog is as lapdog does.

E.Shackle.Ton's picture

"...the following middle-eastern nations: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and surprisingly, Saudi Arabia."

the following middle-eastern nations: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and NOT surprisingly, Saudi Arabia.

There, fixed it for ya.

cougar_w's picture

I'll take a guess, and opine that the threat is a hostile take-over of the aircraft guidance systems. These jets are all fly-by-wire now, and a lot (most) of the landing ops are computer driven, a perfect opportunity to fuck things up. I wouldn't think the systems on a jet have networks that could be hacked from the cabin, but on the other hand as cars can now be hacked by satellite I wouldn't be all that surprised if the jets could too. Maybe it's some kind of on-board diagnostics thing for in-flight troubleshooting, or for flying the plane when the "pilot" -- or whoever has taken over the cockpit -- cannot be trusted. Anyway, if there is an opportunity for a hack then I can say with 100% certainty, it has been hacked. If so then there is absolutely a problem now.

The airlines could maybe patch the onboard systems to seal off a security hole, and maybe even do that remotely. So this problem could maybe be resolved -- if it resides in software. If it's a hardware problem then they will need to swap in fresh hardware, could take months to rev the hardware, and more months to swap in the new boards.

Paging Tom Clancy ...

EDIT: on the other paw, it wouldn't matter where exactly a person got on the flight if they were going to hack the internals. And, malware like that could be uploaded to anonymous BBS or bitorrent and downloaded into a laptop computer leaving on a flight from any major city on the planet. So if I'm right and this is about in-flight network security and protecting the flight computers from being hacked, then these guys are blown no matter what they try to block.

NoPension's picture

Gee...Thanks Cougar.

John Madden style for me now.

newmacroman's picture

So much for those hardened flight deck doors.

Hey Achmed, let's go fly a kike.

Frito's picture

Wondering... is there anything in Vault7 relating to this? Feels like something they (US Intel) had has got away on them. 

cougar_w's picture

Now that's an interesting observation. We hear that WikiLeaks was going to release actual Vault7 malware later (giving defensive software vendors a chance to catch up) and I don't think as of now they have done so. Or I missed the announcement. But sure, just a mention of such a thing existing (as an exploit to be surfaced later) would set off alarms.

The average script-kiddie hacker might not pay much notice of a mention of "avionics" having been r007ed. They don't get very close to that, not a soft target. But serious security experts would zero in on that kind of thing and tear into it.

The timing is about right.

Interesting indeed.

BetterRalph's picture

Want to fly on my Airlines?
New Poilicy. No Electric shop toolbox and no stealth SDR radios. If we catch you your a terrorist. Viva the good ol days of pay phones.

1.21 jigawatts's picture

Laptops don't blow up planes, Muslims do.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Is common sense becoming contagious?

ALANBEEKMAN's picture

Okay, fine Mr. TSA agent, no laptop, but can I bring

my 'service' goat on-board? I'll need to service her

at least twice on the flight.

monoloco's picture

I just had to sit next to some idiot on a flight from Hawaii with a "service" Newfoundland. I'd rather sit next to a goat than that slobbering beast.

 

IranContra's picture

Maybe there is a software in Rothshild agents hands (that the Yemen raid exposed) that can crash a plane. Trump-friendly Arab airlines seem to be the target.

roddy6667's picture

You can run a laptop from a flash drive. It will look fully functional to the inspectors at the airport. However, any unused parts inside can be removed and replaced with C-4 or Semtex, enough to take the plane out of the sky.
That's probably why they are being banned.

cougar_w's picture

Agreed, could be as simple as that. But it would be just as eash to ship the laptop to another city not banned -- say San Francisco -- board from there and then set it off. Makes no difference at all.

Anyway you figure it, the whole ban thing is security theater. If there is a threat, then the threat remains, it will just surface somewhere else.

Caught_Fish's picture

Lithium batteries can be quite hazardous, especially if mishandled. Last year whilst trying to convince a fireman with the CFA (Country Fire Authority) of their hazards I performed a little demonstration, as no words would convince him.

I took one cell from a laptop battery, physically damaged it in a way certain to short out the internals. The battery created intense heat, bubbled and smoked for around five minutes. Ten minutes later the action seemed to stop and he was left very unimpressed, until I squirted it with a syringe full of water, the resultant violent reaction caused him to jump backwards several feet as the flames lept from the battery in two jets each around one foot in length.

There are around eight to twelve of these batteries in most laptops. Needless to say he left with a profound appreciation of their hazardous nature.

Do not try this at home, no liability accepted for any consequences.

logicalman's picture

Back in 70s flying was civilised.

Presently, flying (esp. if you have to pass through US) has now become something I only ever do if it's totally unavoidable.

I'd rather stay home than have my tackle felt and/or be dosed with damaging radiation. Add to that the goons who 'deal' with the public.

Can't be doing much for the travel industry.

On the bright side, the book/magazine stores at the airport should be making a lot more sales.