Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices that cannot be turned on during an inspection of U.S.-bound travelers at foreign airports will not be allowed in the flight, the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) said Sunday.
The measure is meant to thwart possible explosives disguised as electronic devices from being taken aboard U.S.-bound planes.
The TSA also said travelers will be subject to additional airport screening such as pat-downs.
The announcement followed the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over the weekend that new security measures will be implemented in selected overseas airports to prevent terrorists from smuggling more hard-to-detect bombs onto commercial planes.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson did not specify the measures when he made the announcement on Wednesday that it will be implemented this week in European and Middle East airports.
Currently, tighter security measures in airports where U.S.-bound planes take off include inspections of shoes and electronics, use of scanners that can detect traces of explosives, and screening at boarding gates.
The FBI said that with the thousands of foreigners joining the rebellion in Syria and Iraq, there is concern that some of them could attack their own country when they return home.
FBI Director James Comey particularly pointed out Syria and about 100 Americans who have joined the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) now occupying many cities in the country and Iraq.
The enhanced security was prompted by intelligence findings revealed early this year that the al-Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front in Syria and the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen were jointly behind the development of the underwear bomb that a passenger tried to detonate aboard a plane over Detroit in 2009.