The US government is temporarily barring passengers on nonstop US-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 AP reports. The ban was revealed Monday in statements from Royal Jordanian Airlines and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia. A US official said the ban will apply to nonstop flights to the US 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. 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 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. 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. It was unclear to what other countries and airlines the ban would apply. Brian Jenkins, an aviation-security expert at the Rand Corp., said the nature of the security measure suggested that it was driven by intelligence of a possible attack. (Read more airport security stories.)