If you’re about to head to the U.S. from an overseas airport, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has increased security measures for cellphones that aren’t charged, amidst concerns terrorists are plotting to blow up an airliner, in an announcement made last week reports Reuters:
The new measure is part of the TSA’s effort announced last week to boost security amid concerns that Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamist Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, are plotting to blow up an airliner, U.S. officials said.
Here’s an excerpt from the TSA’s statementon the matter (emphasis ours):
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.
The increased security checks mean agents will ask travellers to power on their electronics at checkpoints and if it doesn’t turn on, it won’t be allowed onto the flight. U.S. officials are wary a device such as a laptop, cellphone, tablet or some other electronic could be used as a bomb to blow up a plane.
TSA officials specifically singled out smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy lineup for extra checks on flights bound for the U.S. from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Other checks include taking a closer look at shoes worn by travellers, most likely a security precaution after a failed 2001 terror plot where explosives were hidden inside an Al Qaeda operative’s shoes.
If you’re flying home via the U.S. from either Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, you better prepare to be a ‘wall hugger’ and keep your iOS devices charged if you want them to come home with you.