The US is imposing a “laptop ban” on flights from 10 airports in majority-Muslim countries

Is forcing passengers to check their devices Islamophobia? Economic protectionism? Or just proactive security?

Between now and Friday, if you’re flying into the US from one of 10 airports in majority-Muslim countries, this is the only way you’re going to be able to bring your laptop: checked baggage. John Moore/Getty

Early on Tuesday, the federal government notified airlines serving 10 airports in majority-Muslim countries that sometime before Friday, airlines will have to prevent passengers from carrying on laptops, tablets, or electronic cameras on flights from those airports to the US.

The “laptop ban” had been rumored throughout the day Monday, due in part to a since-deleted tweet from the Royal Jordanian airline. Initial reports made the new requirement seem sudden and hectic — and maybe, given the track record of the Trump administration with Muslim-majority countries, ideologically motivated.

But the official policy rollout was quickly endorsed by a key Democrat on a congressional intelligence committee. The United Kingdom followed up by announcing it would impose its own form of a laptop ban on certain flights, following the US’s lead.

There may very well be an intelligence case for the laptop ban — a specific threat that justifies requiring people to store their laptops in checked baggage rather than having them during flights. But it’s impossible to say for sure. Here’s what we know.

The “laptop ban” targets direct flights from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries
Under the new policy, passengers on flights arriving in the US from 10 specific airports won’t be able to carry on any electrRead More

The affected airports are all in majority-Muslim countries (many in the Middle East). However, the reach is broader than the countries affected by the Trump administration’s attempted ban on travel from several majority-Muslim countries; affluent Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, left out of the travel ban, do have airports affected by the laptop ban.

Here’s the list of airports whose US-bound flights will be affected:

Egypt: Cairo International Airport (CAI) in Cairo

Jordan: Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) in Amman

Kuwait: Kuwait International Airport (KWI) in Kuwait City

Morocco: Mohammed V Airport (CMN) in Casablanca

Qatar: Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha

Saudi Arabia: King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) in Jeddah; King Khalid International Airport (RUH) in Riyadh

Turkey: Ataturk International Airport (IST) in Istanbul

United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) in Abu Dhabi; Dubai International Airport (DXB) in Dubai

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