Airlines with direct flights to the United States have been told to tighten screening of mobile phones and shoes in response to intelligence reports of increased threats from Al Qaeda-affiliated militant groups, U.S. officials said on Thursday.
The officials singled out smartphones including iPhones made by Apple Inc and Galaxy phones made by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for extra security checks on U.S.-bound direct flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
U.S. security officials said they fear bomb makers from the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have figured out how to turn the phones into explosive devices that can avoid detection.
They also are concerned that hard-to-detect bombs could be built into shoes, said the officials, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.
A U.S. official said that other electronic devices carried by passengers also are likely to receive more intense scrutiny.