President Donald Trump's disclosure about advances in laptop bomb making has put a new focus on the latest methods used by terrorists to try to sneak destructives onto commercial airliners.
ISIS bomb-makers have figured out a way to mask explosives inside the battery of the laptop computer to fool airport security, said USA Today, and Trump reportedly told Russian officials about it in a meeting last week.
Intelligence officials said the fake battery functions enough as a battery enough to turn on the laptop, allowing the computer to pass a standard test by airport security.
CNN said the intelligence behind the laptop bombs and other electronics was still considered highly classified, and that it withheld key details from a March 31 story on travel restrictions after pleas from federal officials.
U.S. intelligence believed that terrorists had secured sophisticated airport security equipment that gave them the opportunity to test how to effectively conceal explosives in electronic devices, which helped them make the bombing advances.
Information about the laptop bomb advances had only been shared with the so-called "Five eyes" nations, whose intelligence are closely coordinated – the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Intelligence sources told The Daily Beast that a current ban on carry-on laptops and other electronic devices on U.S.-bound flights from 10 airports in North Africa and the Middle East was a result of information obtained during raid on an Al Qaeda stronghold in Yemen in January.
Information seized in the raid indicated that Al Qaeda had developed a bomb small enough to fit in a laptop battery, but it still had to be triggered manually.
Fear of such device reached a new level in February 2016 when an operative from the Somalia terrorist group al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliate, detonated a laptop bomb on a Diallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Djibouti, said CNN.
Investigators later learned that the bomb actually passed through an x-ray machine at the airport without being detected. While the plane was able to return to the airport after the explosion, experts believe it would have been more harmful if the airliner was a cruising altitude.
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