Brits to be banned from taking laptops on Middle Eastern flights

Britain follows in the footsteps of US travel ban


Person working on laptop computer in seat on plane.

Britain is set to follow in the footsteps of the US and ban laptops and some other electronic devices on flights to the UK from some Middle Eastern countries, sources claim.

See also: US bans electronic gadgets on fights from many Muslim countries

See also: Has our airport security system gone mad?

The US Department of Homeland Security announced a ban after revelations extremists are feared to be seeking to bring down jets with "innovative methods" - with significant concerns BOMBS may be hidden inside laptops.

The measures announced 'out of the blue' this morning will affect nine airlines from eight countries including Dubai, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar - due to 'unspecified terrorism threats'.

plane passenger in airplane...

The Daily Telegraph cites sources this afternoon claiming that British spooks have access to the same intelligence - and a similar ban will follow, possibly within hours.

Cabinet Ministers are reported to have been discussing for weeks how the ban will work in practice.

Any UK ban is likely to mirror that conducted by the US - which has immediately insisted large electronic devices will only be allowed on board in checked luggage.

Mobile phones are exempt - although it is not immediately clear what it will mean for owners of iPads.

These are the airports affected by the ban: Airports affected by the ban

  • Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar
  • Dubai International Airport, UAE
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport, UAE
  • Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
  • Cairo International Airport, Egypt
  • King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Mohammed V Airport, Casablanca, Morocco
  • Kuwait International Airport, Kuwait

The US has stated the decision to introduce the ban is based on "evaluated intelligence".

This is thought either to be from a direct source or some kind of communication having been intercepted about an extremist plot, The Telegraph reports.

Last year a terrorist group is known to have smuggled an explosive-filled laptop onto a flight out of Mogadishu which blew a hold in the side of a jet plane.

The Department for Homeland Security said in a statement today: "The US government is concerned about terrorists' ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years, as evidenced by the 2015 airliner downing in Egypt; the 2016 attempted airliner downing in Somalia; and the 2016 armed attacks against airports in Brussels and Istanbul.

"Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items."

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