Homeland Security

Homeland Secretary Kelly considers laptop ban on all flights into US

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he’s considering a ban on passengers carrying laptop computers on all international flights in and out of the United States.

“I might,” Kelly said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There's a real threat -- numerous threats against aviation. That's really the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it's a U.S. carrier, particularly if it's full of mostly U.S. folks.”

Since taking over the agency in January, Kelly has already limited laptops in airplane cabins.

He instituted a ban in March on flights from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. Beyond laptops, the ban also covers tablets and other electronic devices and requires such equipment larger than a smartphone be checked in.

The ban applies to nonstop U.S.-bound flights from international airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. About 50 flights a day, all on foreign airlines, are affected.

Earlier this month, there were reports that the Trump administration would broaden the ban to include planes from the European Union, affecting trans-Atlantic routes that carry as many as 65 million people a year.

U.S. officials have said that the initial ban was not based on any specific threat, but on longstanding concerns about extremists targeting jetliners.

Kelly on Sunday also signaled that aviation security -- dramatically increased since the 9/11 terror attacks -- will get even tighter. And he hinted about soon getting help in such efforts from “new technology …  not too far down the road.”

However, the Trump administration's spending plan for the budget year that begins Oct. 1 would make significant cuts to airport security programs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.