Europe, UK travellers must keep mobiles charged or lose them at security ahead of US-bound flights


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Europe, UK travellers must keep mobiles charged or lose them at security ahead of US-bound flights

Passengers travelling to the US from anywhere in Europe and UK will now have to keep their mobile phones and laptops charged or lose them at security.

UK's Department of Transport has issued new guidelines in light of a terror threat according to which any electronic device that has a flat battery will not be allowed on America-bound flights.

It said "make sure electronic devices are charged before travel" and warned "If your device doesn't switch on, you won't be allowed to bring it onto the aircraft."

It said "All electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening".

New guidance will now make it mandatory for airport security staff to routinely test smartphones and computers for traces of explosives.

Britain has tightened security in airports across UK after receiving credible evidence from American spies of a "possible al-Qaida terror attack in a manner like never before".

US officials have told the UK that mobile phones - especially iPhones and Samsung Galaxy handsets will be used as "stealth" bombs as Al Qaida terrorists have found a way to turn phones into explosive devices and intend to explode them on commercial flights.

Britain's top security official has now warned that the al Qaida bomb makers with a "devilish technical skill" have completed making explosive devices which would be concealed in mobile phones and tablet computers,

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee in the House of Commons which oversees the secret operations of MI5 and MI6 said on Sunday that he has been shown the evidence gathered by intelligence agencies which underpin a series of new security measures being introduced at British airports and across Europe.

Sir Malcolm, writing on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the July 7 bombings in London said "We must not underestimate the devilish technical skill of those terrorists who design ever more sophisticated means of concealing explosives in mobile devices, in clothing and in otherwise innocent objects. They have been hard at work over the last year."

He adds: "Apart from the terrible murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, the last successful Islamic jihadi terrorist outrage in Britain was the London bombings back in 2005. This has resulted in complacency amongst some of the public which is seriously disturbing. It is simply foolish to believe that the threat is either minimal or now behind us."

The group who are the main suspects is Jabhat al-Nusra, radical militants based in Syria who have now joined hands with members of al-Qaida's franchise in Yemen and in rest of the Arabian Peninsula.

In a statement, the UK government said "we keep aviation security under constant review in conjunction with international partners and the aviation industry. We have taken the decision to step up some of our aviation security measures. For obvious reasons we will not be commenting in detail on those changes. The majority of passengers should not experience significant disruption".

"There will be no change to the threat level, which remains at substantial. The safety and security of the public is our paramount concern. The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures and we will continue to take all the steps necessary to ensure that public safety is maintained".

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