Washington, US (BBN) – An aircraft cabin ban on large electronic devices was prompted by intelligence suggesting a terror threat to US-bound flights, says US media.
The US and UK have announced new carry-on restrictions banning laptops on certain passenger flights, reports BBC.
The so-called Islamic State (IS) has been working on ways to smuggle explosives on to planes by hiding them in electronics, US sources tell ABC.
The tip-off was judged by the US to be “substantiated” and “credible”.
Inbound flights on nine airlines operating out of 10 airports in eight countries are subject to the US Department of Homeland Security ban.
Phones and medical devices are not affected.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is hosting a two-day meeting of ministers and senior officials from 68 nations to discuss the threat from IS.
The Washington talks will be the first full meeting of the coalition since December 2014.
Eric Swalwell, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC News there was “a new aviation threat”.
“We know that our adversaries, terrorist groups in the United States and outside the United States, seek to bring down a US-bound airliner.
That’s one of their highest value targets. And we’re doing everything we can right now to prevent that from happening.”
Another member of that committee, Republican Peter King, told the New York Times he was forewarned about the ban.
“It was based on intelligence reports that are fairly recent. Intelligence of something possibly planned.”
The restriction is based, we are told, on “evaluated intelligence”, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner writes.
That means that US intelligence has either intercepted discussion of a possible extremist plot or has been passed word of one by a human informant.
The nine airlines covered by the US ban are Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.
The British ban, announced hours after the American measure, is similar but applies to different airlines, including British Airways and EasyJet.
It covers direct passenger flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The 10 airports affected by the US ban are:
1.  Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco
2. Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
3. Cairo International Airport, Egypt
4. Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan
5. King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
6. King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
7. Kuwait International Airport
8. Hamad International, Doha, Qatar
9. Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates
10. Dubai International, United Arab Emirates
The airlines included in the US decision have been given a deadline of 07:00 GMT on Saturday to impose the ban, officials said, adding that the restriction had no end date.
However, an Emirates spokeswoman told Reuters news agency the airline understood that the US directive would come into effect on 25 March and remain valid until 14 October 2017.