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US may ban laptops on all flights from Europe

WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security is considering banning laptops and other large electronic devices from carry-on bags on flights from Europe to the United States, a department spokesman said on Wednesday.

The action would extend a limited ban that was put in place in March. At that time, the United States and Britain barred passengers traveling through airports in 10 Muslim-majority countries from carrying laptop computers, tablets and other devices larger than cellphones aboard direct inbound flights. The larger items were to be stowed with checked luggage.

The ban was put in place after intelligence showed that the Islamic State was developing a bomb that could be hidden in portable electronic devices.

David Lapan, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said the agency had not decided whether to extend the ban. “We’ll likely expand the restrictions,” he said. John F. Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, is to brief senators on security topics on Thursday, according to a Senate aide.

Officials did not say when a new ban might be imposed. (NYT)