'Likely' expansion of laptop ban not affected by Trumps' sharing of classified intel
The original ban was issued in March relating to flights from the Middle East.
By GENEVA SANDS and ADAM KELSEY
May 16, 2017, 11:02 PM
• 3 min read
-- The United States Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday that department leaders will meet in Europe this week to discuss expanding the current ban on laptops and tablets aboard some direct international flights to the U.S. -- a move unaffected by the report President Donald Trump shared classified intelligence related to the ban with Russian officials last week.
In March, DHS issued a directive restricting electronic devices larger than a cellphone on flights to the U.S. from eight countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among others.
On Wednesday, DHS Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke and the Transportation Security Administration's acting Administrator Huban Gowadia will meet with European partners to discuss the "likely" expansion of the ban due to "heightened and evolving threats," according to DHS spokesperson David Lapan.
And terrorists are continuing to look for ways to toarget civilian aviation, according to the DHS.
"We don't believe that threat is going away," said Lapan.
A final decision on the ban has not yet been made -- DHS Secretary John Kelly continues to consider input from partners, including airlines, the U.S. and European governments, and the "scale and scope" of what the ban might entail, said Lapan.
The spokesperson noted that any action was not affected by Trump's reported discussion about the threat with Russian officials.
"It's not changed our timeline,” said Lapan, adding that any action by the president didn't "change the nature of our discussions with our partners about the nature of the threat."