The sudden Ban on carrying of Electronic Devices by passengers as cabin luggage in direct flights to the United States from certain cities in the Middle East and North Africa had raised eyebrows. It was believed to be a precautionary measure designed to prevent miscreants from going ahead with terrorist activities in flight. A similar ban has been introduced by the UK authorities also and, other countries may follow suit.

Sky News reports that the ban is due to some specific information that are with intelligence officials in the US. It seems terrorists are in the process of perfecting explosive devices that can easily fit inside consumer electronics.

Such miniature bombs could bring down commercial airliners.

The fears are genuine

The move is linked to a threat perception from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula because, it has, in its folds, the world's most feared bomb maker. The concerns are genuine because, last February, there was a similar plot by terrorists in Somalia. The miniature bomb was concealed in a laptop, and, when it exploded, it blew open the side of a plane. Fortunately, the plane did not go out of control but, the bomber was killed.

Apparently, terrorist organizations want to generate fear among the people and, want to bring down aircraft to make their presence felt. They continue to work out creative ways to outsmart detection and, hence, the decision to ban electronic devices from the purview of cabin luggage.

Actions to be taken

Transportation Security Administration has already advised airlines about the time schedules – they have till the weekend to inform all travelers to ensure that their electronic devices like laptops, tablets and game consoles should be a part of checked-in luggage. Airlines that fail to comply with the ban may forego their right to operate routes to the United States.

America has imposed these restrictions on a total of nine airlines that account for nearly 50 flights every day. The countries are Cairo, Istanbul, Kuwait City, Doha, Casablanca, Amman, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Incidentally, this ban is not related to the travel ban from a handful of predominately Muslim countries that the Trump administration is trying to enforce.

As far as the UK is concerned, the restrictions apply to direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.