Terror threat? DHS bans in-flight electronics for travelers from eight nations

These days, having a laptop or tablet is almost a must for air travelers to dispense with the boredom of a long flight. Those coming to the US from eight international airports will have to travel old-school with printed material for their reading pleasure, according to a new edict from TSA. In a confidential memo, the agency has forbidden all electronic devices larger than a cellphone from being carried onto the flight, although passengers can have them in their checked baggage:

Citing “evaluated intelligence,” the Transportation Security Administration is temporarily barring passengers on non-stop flights to the U.S. from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and most other electronics onto planes in carry-on luggage.

Those devices will instead have to be packed in checked baggage.

The ban went into effect overnight Tuesday, but carriers have through Friday to comply.

The TSA says the measure is needed because, “Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.”