After U.S. intelligence officials discovered earlier this year that al Qaeda was fashioning new bomb varieties, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today that some travelers flying to America from overseas will have to power up their phones prior to takeoff.
“During the security examination, officers may ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones,” the TSA said in a press release. “Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft.”
While travelers may be familiar with shuttering their phones prior to takeoff, this new measure aims to thwart bombs potentially concealed within electronic devices, reports ABC News.
It is unclear which airports overseas will be impacted by the new processes.
Sources told ABC that officials are taking precautions against Syrian terrorist groups working alongside al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen. The fear is that terrorists might ultimately corroborate with “one of the thousands of Americans and other foreign fighters carrying U.S. and European passports” in order to carry out an attack, the outlet reports.
“Aviation security includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by an evolving environment,” stated U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson in an announcement preceding the enhanced security procedures.