Updated at 8:45 a.m.
The Department of Homeland Security will no longer allow passengers to carry electronics onto flights to the U.S. from 10 major airports in the Middle East and North Africa. Devices larger than a mobile phone—including laptops, tablets, and cameras—will need to be placed in checked baggage.
The airports are located in eight countries: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. (Two airports were designated in Saudi Arabia and in the UAE.) Nine airlines—none of them American or European—will be responsible for enforcing the rules. The Department of Homeland Security said about 50 flights a day will be affected by the rules.
The ban was communicated to the relevant airlines and airports at 3 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, in the form of an emergency amendment to a security directive. From that point, the airlines and airports will have 96 hours to comply. If they fail to, a senior administration official told reporters, “we will work with the Federal Aviation Administration to pull their certificate, and they will not be allowed to fly to the United States.”
The ban on larger electronics was developed in response to a “continuing threat to civil aviation,” according to another official, who would not say whether the threat had developed recently, or when the ban might be lifted. DHS is concerned about a trend of bombs being disguised as consumer items, like shoes, a printer, and even a laptop. The official said the data on checked electronics would not be searched.