Last week, we reported that the U.S. DHS is implementing additional security checks on some international airports with nonstop flights to the country, citing concerns that al Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen were developing bombs that could be smuggled onto planes.
The U.S. aviation security has now announced of a new regulation last weekend whereby all users carrying cellular phones of laptops/tablets must be able to turn on their device during security clearance. If you’re flying to the U.S. from certain unspecified airports in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, security screeners may require that you turn on your phone, tablet, laptop, or other electronic device.
This simply means that if you reach the airport with a dead phone then you must charge it before heading to the security clearance; or in the worst case scenario, miss your flight altogether. Travelers with insufficiently charged devices “may also undergo additional screening,” the US Transportation Safety Authority warned on its website.
Reports suggest that London’s Heathrow airport is making plans to let people plug in their devices at the security checkpoint, or mail the phones to their final destination if they can’t be charged in time.
The new regulations are being put into place because US officials are concerned that terrorists might use a smartphone casing to conceal a bomb. Groups like the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist Nusra Front are reportedly plotting to take down an airplane. Presumably, the thinking is that a device that actually functions couldn’t contain enough explosives to cause any harm.