Amid concerns that terrorists are actively looking to hide explosive devices inside of tablets and laptops on international flights, the U.S. earlier this year issued a travel ban restricting passengers on select inbound U.S. flights from traveling with electronic devices bigger than a smartphone. The travel ban, which went live this past March, impacts travelers from a number of countries, including Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
Now comes word via Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that the aforementioned laptop and tablet ban might soon become more expansive. In remarks made to CNN this past Friday, Kelly confirmed that there have been discussions about extending the ban to include overseas flights departing from the United States.
When asked whether it is true that he has hinted the laptop ban could expand to US soil, Kelly said that those characterizations of his thinking are accurate.
“No, they didn’t misread me,” he answered. “I would tell you that the threats against passenger aviation worldwide are constant. The good news is that we have great intelligence collection overseas — US intelligence collection. We also have great sharing with partners overseas. So, we are doing everything we can to get after these threats — but they are real.”
As it stands now, there’s no indication as to when a more expansive travel ban might be implemented, if at all. Kelly has remained rather coy on the matter, and for the time being, he seems intent on simply relaying the idea that such a ban may become a reality later on down the line.
“We will make a decision when the time is right,” Kelly said.