The following is an excerpt from Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne, Cyd Upson | May 2, 2017 | Foxnews.com |
Strong intelligence pointing to an "imminent threat" drove the decision in March to ban large electronics in carry-on baggage on flights into the U.S., according to a senior House Republican.
"Specific and credible intelligence that there was an imminent threat to our aviation sector" was behind the decision, House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, told Fox News. "I think the administration took very responsible actions to safeguard the safety of Americans here in the homeland."
The ban on electronics larger than iPhones applied to 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
During congressional testimony on April 5, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly did not rule out expanding the restrictions. "It's real. I think it's getting realer, so to speak," Kelly told a Senate committee, referring to the intelligence and threat. "We may take measures in the not-too-distant future to expand the number of airports."
It is widely reported that terrorist groups seek to plant explosives in lap top computers, or similar devices.
According to congressional investigators, the data shows that six years after SEAL Team 6 killed Usama bin Laden in Pakistan, the threat remains high, with terrorist-inspired or directed attacks focused on civilians.
McCaul's committee reported there have been 198 ISIS-linked plots against the West, including 21 this year alone. And the terror group has taken suicide attacks into the mainstream with 63 plots against the West since 2013 -- with 42 in 2016 and 2017.
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