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Report: U.S. and U.K. electronics ban partially blamed on plot to use a fake Apple iPad as a bomb

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Report: U.S. and U.K. electronics ban partially blamed on plot to use a fake Apple iPad as a bomb
According to a report published today, the recently announced U.S. electronics ban on incoming flights from eight countries (Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates) was partially related to a uncovered plot to bring down a plane using a bomb. The explosives were to be hidden inside a fake Apple iPad. Authorities said the ban, and a similar one announced for the U.K., were the result of more than one planned incident. The U.K. is banning electronics on planes arriving into the region from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey.

The fake iPad that was going to be used in one of the attacks would have looked exactly like the real thing. Officials refused to provide anymore information on the discovered plots. Shashank Joshi, a defense and intelligence expert with London’s Royal United Services Institute, said that he could understand why both the U.S. and U.K. would be nervous about a plot involving the use of an non-metallic tablet sized bomb. Such a device would not set off metal detectors, and would look like a harmless iPad that many passengers use for work or entertainment on a flight. Prior to the ban, there were no restrictions on a tablet being carried on board a plane.

The Department of Homeland Security says that the electronics ban was put in place to counter "innovative methods" being worked on by terrorists to bring down commercial airplanes. Despite the comment, a mobile consumer electronics device might have been used before to detonate a bomb on board a plane. Back in February 2016, explosives believed to be placed inside a laptop were used to attack a Somalian aircraft. One person died after getting sucked out of a hole on the plane's fuselage that was created by the exploding bomb.

The ban prevents passengers from boarding a flight carrying any electronic devices larger than a cellphone. That would include cameras, laptops, handheld gaming devices, tablets, e-readers and DVD players. These items can be checked with passengers' baggage. 

source: TheGuardian via TheVerge

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