According to a CNN report, US intelligence officials have gained new information about the effectiveness of certain airport screening practices. Recent FBI tests have confirmed that new methods of concealing explosives in electronic devices like laptops could potentially bypass Airport Security protocol, allowing bombs and other devices to make their way onto planes. In addition, the US has received reliable reports that indicate potential terrorists might have somehow gained access to complex airport security equipment in order to test their augmented weapons.

CNN notes that the information received by the US in recent months has played a big part in a decision by the Trump administration to completely forbid travelers from eight different Middle Eastern and African countries from taking laptops and other similarly sized electronic devices aboard when flying to America.

FBI tests were revealing

The tests that the FBI conducted focused on certain models of Transportation Security Administration screening machines that are commonly used internationally, and their findings seemed to suggest that, at least with these particular machines, laptop bombs would be considerably more difficult to uncover than past versions of terrorist-altered explosives. In a Department of Homeland Security statement to CNN, officials remarked that the "government continually reassesses existing intelligence and collects new intelligence," allowing "DHS and TSA to constantly evaluate our aviation security processes and policies and make enhancements when they are deemed necessary to keep passengers safe."

Certain countries pose a greater risk than others

US officials indicate that the current electronics ban focuses specifically on eight countries because reputable intelligence indicates greater threats from them.

Similar reports also show that the US has sufficient confidence in airport security practices domestically and in most parts of Europe. The issue, therefore, lies with countries that may not have such sophisticated security protocol. Ideally, better training and technology for these parts of the world will help reduce some of the risk.

Another factor mentioned by officials is the fact that countries that are not as advanced in aviation security also may not have the capacity to ensure uniform compliance within their borders. If the country isn't able to efficiently secure airports in the first place, there is a higher likelihood that local government may not have the reach to ensure any potential mandates were followed if they were imposed.

The countries affected by the US electronics ban include Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The United Kingdom has also imposed a similar ban, though it focuses on different countries.