By ALICIA A. CALDWELL and DAVID KOENIG

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is temporarily barring passengers on nonstop U.S.-bound flights from eight Middle Eastern and North African countries from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and some other electronics in carry-on luggage starting Tuesday.

The ban was revealed Monday in statements from Royal Jordanian Airlines and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia.

A U.S. official said the ban will apply to nonstop flights to the U.S. from 10 airports in eight countries. The official did not name the airports or the countries. The official was not authorized to disclose the details of the ban ahead of a public announcement and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The reason for the ban was not immediately clear. David Lapan, a spokesman for Homeland Security Department, declined to comment. The Transportation Security Administration, part of Homeland Security, also declined to comment.

Royal Jordanian said cellphones and medical devices were excluded from the ban. Everything else, the airline said, would need to be packed in checked luggage. It was unclear to what other countries and airlines the ban would apply.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly phoned lawmakers over the weekend to brief them on aviation security issues that have prompted the impending electronics ban, according a congressional aide briefed on the discussion. The aide was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A U.S. government official said such a ban has been considered for several weeks. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose the internal security discussions by the federal government.

Royal Jordanian said the electronics ban affects its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal. The Saudi statement said flights from Riyadh and Jeddah would be impacted.

The ban would begin just before Wednesday’s meeting of the U.S.-led coalition against …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

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