US Lifts Laptop Ban On Flights From Middle East

DHS Chief: US Tested Prototype Terrorist Bombs Before Implementing New Aviation Security Rules

Hundreds of foreign airports and U.S. and overseas airlines have made security enhancements necessary for passengers traveling direct to the U.S.to carry laptops into the cabin, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Thursday.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a US security conference Wednesday that experts carried out such a test.

The U.S. and British ban on electronic devices in the cabins of inbound flights from certain countries stemmed from a new intelligence analysis suggesting that terrorists could put bombs in laptops in a way that would allow the devices to briefly power on, fooling security screeners, NBC News previously reported.

"Having been around explosives all my life, the device as described to me had an amount of explosive on it that I just did not believe could destroy an airplane in flight", said Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general.

"As we continue to secure global aviation in the coming weeks and months, this communication and partnership between the private sector and the USA government will be imperative".

The 10 airports targeted by the ban have since implemented the new security measures required since March by the US ban, as verified by USA officials.

Later, Kelly said his Department wished to see more sniffer dogs at airports, and will be introducing a requirement for advanced biometric passports to be compulsory for flights coming into the US.

The ban included 10 airports in North African and Middle Eastern countries.

In a statement, the DHS said the quick action demonstrated the "shared commitment to raising the bar on global aviation security".

The smugglers have left children in deserts once they cross into the USA and smuggling networks generate millions of dollars in illicit income, Kelly said.

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