Proposed laptop ban on flights may expand

Sec. John Kelly: Intelligence Leaks Are 'Darn Close To Treason'

Sec. John Kelly: Intelligence Leaks Are 'Darn Close To Treason'

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said they "might and likely will" intensify scrutiny of carry-on luggage as well.

The aviation sector is under constant threat from terrorist groups because of the ability to inflict a mass casualty event and the global media attention that follows. "But it is a real sophisticated threat, and I'll reserve making that decision until we see where it's going".

Experts have expressed concern that there's a danger to having numerous lithium ion batteries in a plane's cargo hold, as a damaged battery could catch fire.

He added, "We will make a decision when the time is right".

Kelly was asked by "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace about whether he would implement a ban that covered all global flights entering or leaving the U.S. They shared details about aviation security standards and agreed to discuss the topic further. "So, we are doing everything we can to get after these threats - but they are real".

In late March, the United States barred passengers traveling from eight middle eastern countries from carrying large electronic devices on board inbound flights over concerns that terrorists had created a new type of airline bomb. The clutter in carry-on bags sometimes makes it hard to spot suspicious items. "It jeopardizes not only investigation but puts people's lives in jeopardy", Kelly said in an interview with the Fox News broadcaster. "Well, what we're doing now is working out the tactics, techniques and procedures, if you will, in a few airports to find out exactly how to do that with the least amount of inconvenience to the traveler".

"We might and likely will", said Kelly, although he didn't say how soon.

USA officials have said that initial ban was not based on any specific threat but on longstanding concerns about extremists targeting jetliners. But as the Islamic State is defeated in Syria and Iraq, fighters could spread to other regions, such as the bombing at a Manchester concert, he said.

"The more you stuff in there, the less the TSA professionals that are looking at what's in those bags through the monitors" are able to discern about bags' contents, he said.

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