The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering expanding an electronics ban to “likely” include U.S.-bound flights departing from Europe, according to CBS News.
DHS implemented restrictions on electronic devices larger than a cell phone on board aircraft flying into the United States from 10 airports located in eight majority-Muslim countries in late March. Officials are now “weighing the advantages of expanding the ban against disruptions it could cause,” CBS News reported Monday.
The decision to implement the policy in March came after new intelligence indicating terrorist groups have “intensified” efforts to attack the aviation sector.
“Our information indicates that terrorist groups’ efforts to execute an attack against the aviation sector are intensifying,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asserted in a March 21 press release.
The aviation sector is under constant threat from terrorist groups because of the ability to inflict a mass casualty event and the global media attention that follows. Terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation by “smuggling explosive devices in various consumer products,” according to CNN.
Officials cited the 2015 airliner downing in Egypt, the 2016 attempted airliner downing in Somalia, and the 2016 attacks against airports in Brussels and Istanbul as examples of terror-related incidents involving aviation targets.
“We have not made any decisions on expanding the electronics ban; however, we are continuously assessing security directives based on intelligence and will make changes when necessary to keep travelers safe,” the Transportation Security Administration told CBS News.
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