Now, according to a new report from The Guardian, which cited a source, this was apparently due to the discovery of a plot that aimed at bringing down a plane with explosives, hidden inside of a fake iPad. That isn't said to be the only reason for the ban, but instead a contributing factor.
The report, which offers no other details about the iPad plot, sheds light on the measure that allows laptops and tablets in checked luggage, but not in carry-on luggage, which is the opposite of what some airlines normally demand.
Word of the plot provides confirmation that extremist groups have continued attempts to find ways to smuggle explosives onto airplanes despite failed attempts to sneak improvised bombs on board hidden in shoes and underwear. And previous year, for example, a bomb in a laptop punctured a hole in the passenger area on a Somalia-bound flight.
In the United States, reports of the ban circulated beginning Monday, March 20, the same day when the edict was distributed in a confidential email by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. A passenger who was sucked out of the hole died. Similarly, it's also to be determined whether more countries will uphold the same ban.
The electronics ban in the United Kingdom is set to put a stop to passengers bringing portable devices roughly larger than an average smartphone into a plane's cabin onto in-bound flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia on selected airlines.
On Tuesday, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a directive for incoming flights from 10 major airports in eight Middle Eastern and North African countries: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE.
Although US and British officials said last week the decision to implement the directive wasn't based on any specific threat, but on longstanding concerns about terrorists targeting jetliners, the American officials warned earlier that terrorists plan to target passenger jets with bombs hidden in electronic devices and are aggressively pursuing new methods to conduct attacks, including smuggling explosives in consumer items.