The White House says U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies believe ISIS can build laptop bombs to possibly take down passenger airlines.
According to the FBI, terrorists have been testing their new bombs against airport security equipment they have obtained to increase their chances of evading security checkpoints and boarding the planes, CNN reported Friday.
The administration of US President Donald Trump’s decision to ban travelers flying out of 10 airports in eight Middle Eastern and African countries from carrying laptops and other large electronic devices was based on intelligence gathered over the past months, the report noted.
Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a ban on large electronic devices from cabin baggage in Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt.
The measure came after the department claimed that terrorists are seeking “innovative methods” to bring down passenger planes amid fears that bombs could be hidden in laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games.
Based on the FBI’s tests late last year, the new laptop bombs were far more difficult to discover by airport screeners.
Instead of hiding the bombs in the battery compartment like in the past, the terrorist bomb-makers know how to hide the explosives while keeping the laptop functional long enough to get past screeners.
American intelligence agencies believe that al-Qaeda in Yemen has the highest level of bomb-making expertise and that the expertise might be spread among other terror groups.