Total Airplane Laptop Ban Coming Or Not? What Are The Issues?

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

Following intelligence reports that ISIS may be planning to attack airlines with laptop computers rigged as bombs, Trump initiated a ban on laptops on some flights from some airports.

Rumors had it that the ban was going to be extended to make things “uniformly fair”.

Fortunately, common sense prevailed, for now.

Laptop Ban on All Flights?

The Cost

CNNMoney reported Laptop ban in Europe could cost airline passengers $1 billion.

Laptop Q&A

USA Today provides a Q&A: How does the laptop ban on flights work?

Millions of additional travelers could be affected by a new plan to ban laptops, tablets and other large electronic devices from the cabins of trans-Atlantic flights, a move U.S. and European security officials have been discussing in recent days.

The proposal would expand an existing ban implemented in March that applies to U.S.-bound flights from 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Here is what you need to know:


Why is the ban needed?

Homeland Security officials say terrorists are trying to smuggle explosives onto planes in “various consumer items,” and experts say explosives could be concealed within the electronics and battery compartments of consumer devices. The devices are still allowed to be placed in checked baggage.


What about the threat of items in the cargo hold?

The British Airline Pilots’ Association says it’s worried this ban could lead to more accidental fires in cargo holds, posing a greater risk than that of terrorism. Spare lithium batteries are already banned from cargo holds over concerns that they can cause intense, fast-growing fires without being seen belowdecks, and accidental fires cased by lithium batteries have been cited in two crashes, the association said.


Have bombs been concealed in electronic devices before?

Yes. On June 23, 1985, a bomb concealed inside a radio inside a checked bag exploded onboard an Air India flight from Montreal to London while over Irish airspace, killing all 329 people aboard. And Pam Am Flight 103 was blown up by terrorists on Dec. 21, 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland shortly after takeoff. A bomb concealed inside a tape recorder inside checked luggage brought the plane down, killing 259 people aboard, along with 11 people on the ground.


What airports are affected?

Right now, the ban applies only to U.S.-bound flights from 10 foreign airports. They are:

  • Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), in Amman
  • JordanCairo International Airport (CAI), in Cairo
  • EgyptAtaturk International Airport (IST), in Istabul
  • TurkeyKing Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED), in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid International Airport (RUH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait International Airport (KWI), Farwaniya, Kuwait
  • Mohammed V Airport (CMN), Casablanca, Morocco
  • Hamad International Airport (DOH), Doha, Qatar
  • Dubai International Airport (DXB), Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), Abu Dhabi
  • United Arab Emirates

The ban applies to specific airports, not individual airlines.

Brussels Logic – Everyone Must Suffer

The Financial Times cited a senior EU diplomat as follows: “When you have a kettle and you are making porridge, you cannot make it thicker in one corner of the kettle. It is the same with flight security. Why should [EU-US] flights be restricted and more secure than the ones to Thailand or Egypt?”

Fortunately, common sense ruled. How long that lasts remains to be seen.

The Real Issue

The real issue is that security forces and scanners have a hard time finding bombs in laptops. On April 21, CNN reported New terrorist laptop bombs may evade airport security, intel sources say.

US intelligence and law enforcement agencies believe that ISIS and other terrorist organizations have developed innovative ways to plant explosives in electronic devices that FBI testing shows can evade some commonly used airport security screening methods, CNN has learned.


Heightening the concern is US intelligence suggesting that terrorists have obtained sophisticated airport security equipment to test how to effectively conceal explosives in laptops and other electronic devices. The intelligence, gathered in the last several months, played a significant role in the Trump administration’s decision to prohibit travelers flying out of 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa from carrying laptops and other large electronic devices aboard planes.


Aviation security expert Robert Liscouski, a former Homeland Security assistant secretary for infrastructure protection, said limiting the ban to eight countries makes sense based on the capability and locations of terrorist groups.


When the electronics ban was announced, US officials told CNN they were concerned that terrorists had developed ways to hide explosives in battery compartments. But the new intelligence makes clear that the bomb-makers working for ISIS and other groups have become sophisticated enough to hide the explosives while ensuring a laptop would function long enough to get past screeners. Though advanced in design, FBI testing found that the laptops could be modified using common household tools.


Intelligence officials received a wake-up call in February 2016, when an operative from al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliate in Somali, detonated a laptop bomb on a Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti. The explosives were hidden in a part of the laptop where bomb-makers had removed a DVD drive, according to investigators. Airport workers helped smuggle the bomb on the plane after it passed through an X-ray machine. In that case, the bomber was blown out of the airplane but the aircraft was able to make an emergency landing. However, experts have said the bomb would have been more devastating had the plane reached cruising altitude.


The military and intelligence community has grown increasingly concerned in the last few months about the potential ability of terror groups to get bombs on board airplanes, according to several US officials. The US has been tracking specific intelligence from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al Qaeda in Syria and ISIS, officials said.


The group with the greatest level of bomb-making expertise is al Qaeda in Yemen. Its master bomb-maker, Ibrahim al Asiri, has worked for years on designing explosive devices that can be hidden on bodies or in items such as printer cartridges. Since 2014, US officials have been concerned that Asiri’s expertise had migrated to other groups.

Brussels vs Trump

The Brussels solution would be to ban all laptops. Trump’s solution was a selective ban, far more practical.

What needs to happen is to figure out why we cannot detect bombs in laptops.

Top Secret?

Finally, the recent bruhaha regarding Trump was that he shared “Top Secret” information with Russia.

That alleged “Top Secret” information was in regards to ISIS having plans to use laptop bombs on airplanes. Russia likely knew everything Trump stated.

Media Witch Hunt

As long as Trump did not disclose sources, we should all be thankful Trump shared this information with Russia.

Instead, we see a media witch hunt and increased calls for impeachment. For more on the Trump Witch hunt please see …

  1. “Terrifying, Reckless, and Deeply Disturbing” Reports: High on Stupidity
  2. Impeachment Odds Approximately Zero: What’s the Real Reason for Today’s Decline?
  3. Special Counsel Named to Investigate Trump and Russia: What’s the Real Mission?

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Dazman's picture

No Laptop for You!

-- Laptop Nazi

Looney's picture


Fear is America’s favorite pastime.

Half of the country is afraid of Spiders. Another half is scared of Clowns.

The third half of the country is freaking out about the Russians.

Our national emblem, the Bald Eagle, should be replaced with a… Russian Clown covered with Spiders.  ;-)


Joe Davola's picture

Are you still afraid of clowns?

Looney's picture


I am The Clown.  ;-)


ParkAveFlasher's picture

"Send in ze spider clowns" - Vlad Putin

Stuck on Zero's picture

Isn't it curious that terrorists never target Western leaders?  They only target the man in the street.

wildbad's picture

Let us not forget the radio bomb that was hand carried onto the Colombian plane to assassinate one of Pablo Escobars' political enemies.

A very small device is all that is needed to compromise the structural integrity of a thin skinned cigar tube.

Security theatre will never stop a determined suicider. I flew (with my laptop) for the first time in ages three weeks ago and fly back to zee faterland day after tomorrow.

The flying experience is torture these days and if my trip hadn't been absolutely necessary I wouldn't a dunnit.

The extremist tactics of both the gummint and the airlines have ruined a previously acceptable experience and turned it into an exercise in cowering obedience.

The airlines would be fat with profits if they weren't being forced into the silly butthole prison routine by the illegal DHS

philipat's picture

Now that WiFi is available on aircraft, what is the point of not allowing laptops in the cabin but OK in the cargo hold? Quite apart from the Lithium battery issue, the internet could be used to remotely signal a checked-in laptop.

Since this is largely a US problem created by the US, why not just ban laptops completely on all International flights involving US airlines and on all flights to the US? It's only fair.....

Tall Tom's picture




As I have posted here for many years...




The TSA just is not able to steal enough electronics from the checked luggage. They need fresh stock.


Happy flying.


BTW the Lithiun Batteries in the Cellphones are BOMBS TOO. i can hardly wait until those are banned. Then nobody will be flying...anywhere.


And the people just do not understand how easy it is TOO SHOOT A JET OUT OF THE SJY WHEN THEY ARE MOST VUNERABLE...On Landing and on Departure...BY TARGETING THE ENGINES.


Oh my...Is that "Classified Information"? That is funny. That has also been in the Public Domain...for many


That is right...


All if that taxpayer money spent...


All of those security measures...

All of those child molestations and gropings...

All of thise thefts by the TSA Agents...


HAVE BEEN FOR NOTHING as they have not made you any safer.




Happy flying.



Handful of Dust's picture

Has to be Fake News. Obama and Hillary still refuse to use the words, "islamic terrorist" so I guess they don't exist.

Nothing to fear in their mionds, evidently.

Tall Tom's picture





What is even funnier is that they want to go after Trump for leaking this supposedly "Classified Information" to Putin.


(Putin must have been laughing his ass off when Trump told him of the "threat". His advisors probably told him about it years ago if Putin did not think about it independently.)


They are crazy. And if Trump allows this then he is crazy too.


This is how I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are no terrorist groups plotting mayhem in America.


It simply is far too easy to accomplish this crap..

Mr. Schmilkies's picture

I'm surprised some judge has not overturned this ban of laptops from certain countries.  It's very racist. 

Tall Tom's picture




I am surprised that there is a ban against carrying loaded guns on aircraft.


In fact that needs to be a requirement. All passengers must be armed.

Erek's picture

Ever since that guy got caught with a bomb in his shorts I've stopped trusting anyone wearing underwear on an airplane.

FringeImaginigs's picture

And that's why I insist, absolutely insist, given the security situation that my gf not wear panties on the plane. 

Erek's picture

@ Looney

Three halves?

New Math! /s

duo's picture

Remember after 9/11 you had to turn on your laptop to get through security?. It was a PITA, but it's an option.

Joe Davola's picture

Thank god they didn't do this in reaction to the underwear bomber!

Dazman's picture

Unless.... No underwear and short skirts are a requirement so we can "see" that you aren't hiding anything.

Relax snowflakes it's a joke I'm not a sexist.

Squid Viscous's picture

this all comes from israeli "intel" which they so kindly shared with their bestest buddies,

just to make you hate muzzies even more.

(while building another 1500 condos in the Occupied West Bank, telling the rest of the world to go fuck themselves)

runswithscissors's picture

So what is the TSA going to do when those clever but evil scary terrorists invent a rectal bomb?

newmacroman's picture

i invented that years ago after the Tijuana Taco

MFL5591's picture

Ban them then charge people to bring them on as long as they give up their identity to the criminals in DC!

RiverRoad's picture

They're going to demand our password then charge us.

More Patriot Act.

Only problem......there goes Amazon.

Crimea-River's picture

Can we bomb Saudi Arabia already?!

thedespised's picture

The israeli mossad has a way via laptop to take remote control of airplanes.  That's the threat.

WillyGroper's picture

read that too.

alleged plot foil planned by the usuals.

is it real or memorex?

Mine Is Bigger's picture

I am opening laptop rental shops at airports for incomming travelers!!!'s picture

Good idea.  Rent the "clean" laptop at the gate.  Insert your thumb drive on the plane.  Return the laptop at the exit gate.  Could work for mobile phones also.  Redbox for electronics.

Bill of Rights's picture


No good pricks...

davinci7_gis's picture

This is one of the saddest days in history (removal of Robert E Lee Monumnet) since the taking down of the Lee statue is symbolic of America slowly loosing it's freedom to speak against socialism and communism.  

Pure Evil's picture

Ah.....fuck those people going all the way back to colonial times.

If it wasn't for all those assholes bringing and buying black slaves to America to work on plantations we wouldn't be suffering the effects of the negro community on our nation today.

We have them to thank for what afflicts us.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Cultural genocide plain and simple!


The South MUST rise again!

Kat Daddy's picture

Sign up and enlist;   Hot shot!   The South was right, after all!

Pure Evil's picture

Not gonna happen. The south is being overrun by turd world assholes, yankee bluebellies upon retirement, while three or four southern states have a majority black population.

Look at Florida, ever since Puerto Rico imploded they've all been moving to Orlando. The state is becoming majority turd world. Twenty years ago the small town I live in was majority white. Now more and more mud people are moving here to take advantage of the housing projects that were built back in the fifties for white retirees that have now become drug infested ghettos with the population trending black, hispanic, and turd world.

Look at Texas, population growth is trending hispanic with large numbers of turd worlders moving in along with the libtard scum from California.

The south died when they started removing the Confederate flag from state flags with Mississippi still being the only state flag with the Confederate Jack still in the flag. Which is surprising since Mississippi is one of the states with the largest majority black population, Alabama being second.

Kat Daddy's picture

Major Mitch Landrieu will no longer call New Orleans home after his current term is up.  The residents will tear him limb from limb if he dares go out in public without security.  He's counting on a cushy job on DC or NY, never to return.  I wish him happiness, with his black mistress and their mulatto baby.  It's going to be a whole new life now.

KimAsa's picture

Slow news day. I think I'll take a walk in the woods here in wonderful State of Jefferson. Glorious spring day.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Watch out for Russian spider clowns!

NoDebt's picture

There's no state called Jefferson.  I know because I passed the "find North Korea on the map" test.


KimAsa's picture

but but ... we have a state flag.

ABCStore's picture

Just ban the passengers already.

NoDebt's picture

That's what I was thinking.  Airlines would run so much more smoothly if it wasn't for all the damned passengers.


TalkToLind's picture

Vus mach da, bitchez. In 2018, y'all goyim will be forced to board U.S. flights buck naked. And at TSA security checkpoint you will be checked for lice, hernia and cervical cancer, but don't worry, it's all for your safety. El Al airline will be exempt from these procedures, of course.

besnook's picture

..........several iranian passports belonging to the bombers were found at the crash site.......

Atomizer's picture

As freash as day issued. Same with Saudi Arabia piloits. They didn't get damaged. Special flame retarded grade passport. Or thown into ruble after the three towers fell. 

JohnGaltUk's picture

I use to fly requently but since all this security nonsense I have not flown since 2011, its just not worth it.

besnook's picture

you should try flying again. they really fondle your junk now. it makes you want to smoke a cigarette when they are done, it feels so good.

Catullus's picture

Ban my laptop and I won't fly for business. It's that simple.

And I won't buy another laptop

I love your wife's picture

Why is ZH posting this highly classified information?  The Russians could be reading this.