The Department of Homeland Security is still considering banning laptops on all international flights due to continued threats from terrorists who are “obsessed” with bringing down a U.S.-based plane full of Americans.
“That’s really the thing that they’re obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight — particularly if it’s a U.S. carrier, particularly if it’s full of mostly U.S. folks,” DHS Secretary John Kelly told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
When asked whether he might consider a ban on laptops on all flights to and from the U.S., Kelly said, “I might.”
In March, the U.S. banned all devices larger than a smartphone from the cabins of direct flights between the U.S. and eight majority-Muslim countries: Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. The U.K. has placed similar restrictions on flights from six countries.
Two weeks ago, they decided not to extend the ban to include flights to and from European countries. But Kelly’s comments Sunday cast doubt on the permanence of that decision.
“There’s new technologies down the road, not too far down the road, that we’ll rely on,” Kelly added.
Experts have expressed concern that there’s a danger to having numerous lithium-ion batteries in a plane’s cargo hold, as a damaged battery could catch fire. The U.N. aviation agency last year banned shipments of lithium-ion batteries on passenger planes.