UK set to ban electronic devices on flights from Middle East and Istanbul because of 'laptop bomb' fears
Britain is set to follow in the footsteps of the US and ban laptops and other electronic devices on flights to the UK from some Middle Eastern countries, sources claim.
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 Morocco - due to 'unspecified terrorism threats'.
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.
The ban will cover anything larger than a mobile phone - including iPads
Mobile phones are exempt - but the ban includes iPads as passengers are being told they cannot bring devices larger than a cellphone.
The ban - which also prohibits passengers carrying portable DVD players and cameras into the main cabin - is indefinite and airlines have until Friday to comply.
These are the 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
Affected airline carriers include: Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.
The US has stated the decision to introduce the ban is based on "evaluated intelligence".
The UK is set to follow in the footsteps of the US and ban devices on certain flights
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.
UK spooks are said to have access to the same intelligence as their US counterparts
"Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items."
Officials said the decision had nothing to do with President Donald Trump's efforts to impose a travel ban on six majority-Muslim nations.
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