WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Transportation Security Administration said Sunday that officers may ask passengers en route to the United States from overseas to turn on their electronic devices to prove they work and aren’t explosive devices. They won’t allow devices without power on board planes. It’s part of an update to security measures aimed at combating potential new threats from terrorists in the Middle East and Europe.
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson directed the TSA last week to enhance security at overseas airports that have direct flights to the United States. The specifics of the enhanced measures weren’t originally released, and it isn’t known what other measures the TSA may employ.
The TSA also would have to coordinate with the foreign governments which provide security at airports in their countries, along with the airlines and private security companies.
While there’s no specific threat prompting the enhancements, U.S. officials are concerned about the possibility that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula might develop bombs which could pass through current security measures undetected.
The updated security measures only apply to airports overseas, and Johnson said he doesn’t think the enhancements will make their way to domestic airports at this time.
“I believe that we’ve taken the appropriate measures to deal with the existing situation and not unnecessarily burden the traveling public,” Johnson said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”