WASHINGTON – The Trump administration confirmed Tuesday it is imposing new restrictions on electronic devices carried by travellers coming to the United States from 10 airports mainly in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified terror threats.
The Department of Homeland Security will require passengers coming to the United States from airports in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Morocco and Qatar to check electronic devices larger than a cell phone such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras.
The airports affected are in Amman, Cairo, Kuwait City, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Morocco; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Officials said the decision had nothing to do with President Donald Trump’s efforts to impose a travel ban of six majority-Muslim nations. A DHS spokeswoman said the government “did not target specific nations. We relied upon evaluated intelligence to determine which airports were affected.”
On March 6, Trump signed a revised executive order banning citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from travelling to the United States for 90 days. Two federal judges have halted parts of the ban, saying it discriminates against Muslims. Trump has vowed to appeal up to the Supreme Court if necessary.
All 10 airports are in majority-Muslim countries.
The airports are served by nine carriers that fly directly from those cities to the United States about 50 times a day and include Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJAL.AM: Quote), Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways [KA.UL], Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways, senior government officials said.
The airlines have until Friday to comply with the new restrictions that will be in place indefinitely. Continued…