Al-Qaeda effect: passengers to US face extra e-security checks

Passengers taking international flights into the United States must now have their cell phones and other electronic devices put through additional inspection before boarding planes, as part of its response to a widely-reported fresh Al-Qaeda threat.

This is the Transportation Security Administration's most recent strategy to protect against the threat of a new type of terror device that can pass undetected through airport checks.

The TSA said on Sunday that devices that fail to power up won't be allowed on planes; and that their owners might have to undergo extra screening before boarding.

The TSA move is in response to an order from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday to put extra security measures in place at some international airports with direct flights to the US, based on intelligence that suggests new Al Qaeda efforts to produce a bomb that would go undetected through airport security.

The beefed up security is almost certainly a response to recent intelligence reports suggesting that Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Syria are working with members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to blow up a commercial aircraft headed to the US or Europe.