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

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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4 Comments

1. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Wow. If it is true, good thing the plot was discovered. This is why I recently posted that all electronics should be banned from planes. I know many people take lots of items. Is said device is checked, it cant be in luggage that goes into the cargo bay. Kt needs to be in checked baggage only and said item needs to be powered on and proven to actually be a laptop or tablet or phone. This is scary that a bomb can be made to fit inside such a thin housing. It doesn't need to be a big explosion. Just big enough to cause a serious fire which could down a plane. Several planes in recent years had small explosions that happen in the cargo area at the bottom of the plane. How do we know this wasn't a laptop or phone or tablet, purposely set to down an airplane? This is serious stuff. This is why at home i always just drive to whatever state i need to work in. Cali or Arizona are the places i frequent most and usually only fly to to.time constraints. But this may change because i am not interested in ever being in a plane crash.

2. mikehunta727 unregistered

Plane crashes and accidents are less likely to happen then getting into a car accident, by a pretty big margin Also every electronic with a lithium ion battery is essentially a potential "walking explosive"... It'll be a pretty dam tough sell to ban all electronics from airplanes..don't think it will happen globally I wonder if the airline industry and TSA could like work with manufactures of electronics/devices and get blueprints for the devices, internal layouts, etc, so that when they get scanned through X-ray, etc, they could see if anything internally has been altered since being shipped and sold, if anything internally has been altered, then that raises a red flag

3. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Except most electronic devices are x ray scanned so it would be clear as day. I'm guessing its because they feel they can't trust the countries having the normal 'scanning' safety and such, which is sort of understandable. But in terms of a bomb, just watch you know, any science show with explosives, and you don't need any sort of education in explosives, to know that powerful explosions come in very tiny packages. So yeah, the 'plan' is if anything an excuse, its more a security concern with those countries with isn't really surprising of late.

4. AlikMalix unregistered

What if we improve our vetting for citizens from those countries and for now ban some of the groups from flying our airlines for a couple of months until we improve our vetting procedures for the safety of all others. Oh wait... that was apparently a bad idea.

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