World

WASHINGTON – In an unexpected development, US authorities are planning to ban passengers travelling on certain US-bound flights from carrying electronic gadgets into the cabin.

A US government source told the BBC that the measure would affect nine airlines operating out of 10 airports. US media reported the order was triggered by intelligence gathered overseas.

The ban will reportedly include all large electronic devices such as laptops, tablets cameras, DVD players and electronic games, but not smartphones.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which is imposing the ban, did not reveal details but is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday.

In a written statement, the Department of Homeland Security said, “We have no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide any update as appropriate.”

Although the flights and airline companies have not been pinpointed but it is expected that Jordan and Saudi Arabia based firms would mostly be affected by the ban.

Royal Jordanian Airlines has already confirmed on Monday that it would “strictly prohibit” electronic devices on its U.S.-bound flights following a directive from the United States.

The tweet confirming the ban by Royal Jordanian Airlines was however deleted but the firm resorted to saying : ‘Further updates will be announced soon regarding (#electronicsban)’.

On the other hand, Al Riyadh newspaper, which is close to the Saudi government, reported that the civil aviation authority had informed “airlines flying from the kingdom’s (Saudi) airports to U.S. airports of the latest measures from U.S. security agencies in which passengers must store laptops and tablets” in checked in baggage.

Al Riyadh quoted a civil aviation authority source as saying that these measures from senior U.S. authorities were related to the Saudi interior ministry.