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The U.S. is considering the expansion of flight security sanctions. A high-level delegation from the Department of Homeland Security will brief European allies in Brussels in the coming weeks on an anticipated expansion of a U.S. ban on large electronic devices from aircraft cabins.
U.S. Federal authorities are expected to add countries in Europe and other regions to the list of nations where passengers flying to the U.S. will be barred from bringing any electronic device larger than a cellphone as part of their carry-on luggage.
This meeting comes only several days after President Trump came under intense fire for reportedly revealing highly classified information during a meeting with Russian representatives recently, including allegedly revealing methods that could give away crucial intelligence sources.
A DHS spokesman recently sought to calm down these concerns. “It doesn’t change the nature of our discussions with our partners about the nature of the threat,” spokesman David Lapan was quoted on usnews.com. The reports, he added, have “not changed our timeline” for instituting the ban.
The ban would not apply to outbound flights to the U.S. Lapan emphasized that the focus on inbound flights was not a reflection of the administration’s confidence in foreign security procedures. “I wouldn’t characterize it as being a lack of confidence in their systems,” the spokesman said. “It’s, again, a function of how do we assess the threat environment and what steps can we take to mitigate that to the greatest extent possible?”
An expansion would build on the list of 10 airports in the Middle East where passengers flying to the U.S. have been required to stow large electronic devices in their checked luggage since spring. “It’s likely that the restrictions that were put in place in March could be expanded to other areas,” Lapan said. Asked whether the restrictions would be expanded to European nations specifically, he replied, “Not solely Europe – extended to additional areas. It could be wider than Europe.” He noted, however, that an expansion, while probable, is not imminent: “The secretary still has not made a final decision – still considering things, gathering information.”