The ban on carrying #laptops as cabin luggage had been introduced in March because there were intelligence reports about possibilities of Islamic State activists planning #terror attacks in the air by using such electronic devices to conceal bombs. It was a selective ban imposed by the #United States and Britain and applied to fights that originated from specific boarding airports in some Muslim-dominated countries.

Under the ban, devices larger than cellphones were not allowed to be taken in as cabin baggage, and the larger items had to go as checked-in luggage. However, the Department of Homeland Security DHS wants to extend the ban to cover all flights from Europe to the United States to nip in the bud any chances of a terror strike in the air.

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Changes in the provisions of the ban

New York Times reports that John F. Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, is scheduled to apprise the senators on security topics but there is no confirmation on the imposition of a new ban. It is understood that dialogues are on between the airlines and the government because most of the problems are with passengers who connect in Europe after traveling by flights that originate in the Middle East and Africa. The reason for the ban is the fear that immigration policies in Europe are not as rigid as in the United States which could lead to terror attacks.

Detection of explosives concealed in devices like laptops is not an easy task, and there have been instances in the past where fake explosives in the laptops had gone through the security scanners without raising any doubt.

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Airlines are targets of terrorists

Terrorism is an evil of the modern age, and those who carry out terror activities continue to select flying aircraft as targets. There have been several cases of such attacks across the world. Their logic is to create a panic situation among the people. However, imposing a ban on laptops would not be a solution – rather, such a ban would have an adverse effect on those who love to work even when they are jet setting across the globe on long-distance flights.

To them, time is precious, and they cannot afford to lose valuable time with their laptops locked away in the baggage hold. They cannot be expected to twiddle their thumbs and spend their time staring into space as the aircraft wings its way across the skies.

There have been a number of attempts to smuggle in concealed bombs to try and blow up the aircraft but, in view of strict security checks that are carried out before boarding the flight, the occurrence of such incidents have reduced considerably. The need of the hour is to tighten the ground security mechanism and have a more practical assessment of the situation. The ban on laptops by the United States is a solution but not the only solution because those who are intent on causing harm and want to carry out terror attacks can always come up with other ideas.