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Report: DHS to expand laptop restrictions for U.S.-bound flights

The Department of Homeland Security will reportedly expand a previous ban on laptops and other larger electronic devices on U.S.-bound flights. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Department of Homeland Security will reportedly expand restrictions on laptops and other electronic devices carried onto some U.S.-bound flights.

President Donald Trump's administration last month implemented a new rule banning electronic devices larger than a cellphone on onboard flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa that fly to the U.S. The administration based its decision on intelligence indicating that "terror groups continue to target aviation, to include smuggling explosives in electronic devices."

The rule applied to laptops, tablets, cameras, portable DVD players, portable printers and scanners, and video games in carry-on bags. Passengers traveling to the U.S. from those 10 airports were allowed to check larger electronic devices.

Now, U.S. officials are expanding the rule to all U.S.-bound flights from anywhere in Europe, the Daily Beast reported Wednesday.

The Daily Beast cited European security officials in its exclusive reporting. It said a formal announcement will come Thursday.

Until then, U.S. officials are staying tight-lipped on what otherwise appeared to be a done deal.

“No final decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however, it is under consideration. DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe," DHS said in a statement in to the Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast reported the original, imposed in March, came as the result of intelligence obtained from a U.S.-led raid on Al Qaeda in Yemen in January. U.S. Navy Special Operator Senior Chief William Ryan Owens died during that operation. Owens' widow, Carryn Owens, attended Trump's joint address to Congress that same month.

“I just spoke to our great General [James] Mattis just now, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, ‘Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemy.’ Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity," Trump said during the address, followed by the loudest and longest applause of the evening.

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