US official mulling greatly expanding airplane laptop ban

Laptop ban on flights

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he's considering a ban on laptops in the passenger cabins of all global flights to and from the US.

The current USA ban applies to nonstop US -bound flights from 10 worldwide airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

"There's a real threat - numerous threats against aviation", Kelly told Fox News on Sunday, warning that terrorist were obsessively looking forward to "knocking down an airplane in flight - particularly a U.S. carrier, if it's full of mostly USA folks".

"No, they didn't misread me", he answered.

"That's the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it's a USA carrier, particularly if it's full of US people".

"Well, there's a real threat", said Kelly, despite strong intelligence sharing between the US and other countries.

DHS implemented restrictions on electronic devices larger than a cell phone on board aircraft flying into the United States from 10 airports located in eight majority-Muslim countries in late March.

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Kelly made his remarks during the Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest travel periods in the U.S., and at a time when the bombing at a concert in Manchester, England has raised concerns that further attacks - possibly involving explosives packed in electronic devices - might be planned.

Asked whether the government would expand such measures nationwide, Kelly said: "We might, and likely will".

"There's new technologies down the road, not too far down the road that we will rely on. So, still contemplating extending the ban, as we work with partners".

During a May 17 meeting between the European Union and DHS officials, they reached an agreement to take the ban "off the table for now", according to the Associated Press.

The comments amplified what Kelly said Friday as he toured Washington Reagan National Airport on the eve of the busy summer travel season, when he said he was working with airlines and security officials throughout Europe and Asia to raise the bar on aviation security. "I would tell you that the threats against passenger aviation worldwide are constant".

The remains of a laptop bombs used in a 2013 terror attack against a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia.

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