Professionals who will be overseas on international business travel may be required to leave their electronic devices behind amid concerns regarding a new security threat. According to Reuters, the Transportation Transportation Administration (TSA) is not allowing cellphones or other electronic devices on U.S.-bound flights from certain airports in Europe and the Middle East if devices are not charged and able to turn on.
The agency decided to heighten security measures at overseas airports after intelligence officials discovered that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its Syrian affiliate Nusra Front may be plotting terrorist attacks using electronic devices.
Reuters stated that in addition to the tightened security, travelers may also be asked to turn on their electronic devices at checkpoints. If the electronics do not turn on, the devices will not be allowed on planes. Countries such as France and Britain are also placing additional checkpoints in the airport as well as at the boarding gates.
Travelers who have a laptop with them may also be asked to turn on these devices by security screeners as U.S. officials are concerned that cellphones, tablets and laptops may be used as a bomb. Passengers carrying brands such as iPhones made by Apple and Galaxy phones made by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd were singled out by U.S. officials for extra security checks, the source reported.
“Travel and Transport has an increasing number of multi-national clients through Radius Travel with business that originates outside of the U.S. that could be affected by these heightened security measures,” said Travel and Transport Vice President of Account Management April Wheeler. “We are implementing processes to capture and communicate with our travelers to ensure they are well-informed of the necessary measures they need to take to avoid travel interruption.”