Photo Credit: T1259 / Wikimedia Commons
Queen Alia International Airport

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security clarified its carry-on electronics and liquid ban at international airports on Tuesday morning, issuing a fact sheet with a list of 10 “last point of departure airports” at which the ban is being enacted.

According to the release, “Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.

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“Based on this information, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Transportation Security Administrator Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia have determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States.

“These enhancements apply to 10 specific airports. The affected overseas airports are: Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), Cairo International Airport (CAI), Ataturk International Airport (IST), King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED), King Khalid International Airport (RUH), Kuwait International Airport (KWI), Mohammed V Airport (CMN), Hamad International Airport (DOH), Dubai International Airport (DXB), and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

“The aviation security enhancements will include requiring that all personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone or smart phone be placed in checked baggage at 10 airports where flights are departing for the United States.”

The Department stressed the enhanced security measures will affect flights from only those 10 airports out of more than 250 airports serving as last points of departure to the U.S. “Airlines will know in advance which flights are affected by these measures,” DHS said.

Nevertheless, the ban is seen as a severe inconvenience to business commuters and others traveling from those airports. Electronic devices larger than a mobile phone / smart phone are not allowed as carry-on items, or in carry-on luggage. Anything larger must be secured in checked luggage according to the notice.

Necessary medical devices are okay to pass, once screened by security personnel.

Examples of those items that must be packed into checked baggage include laptops, tablets, e-readers (such as a Kindle reader), cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game units larger than a cell phone, and travel printers / scanners.

Many travelers take these items with them as carry-ons due to fears they may be stolen at some point in the process of being inspected, transported, loaded and unloaded by baggage handlers at airports.

Domestic flights within the United States are not affected by the ban, nor are flights originating from the United States.

Further information can be found by clicking here.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.