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A Fake iPad Plot Is Being Blamed for the Airline Laptop Ban

March 27, 2017, 2:29 PM UTC

A terror plot involving fake Apple iPads was one of the reasons the U.S. and U.K. banned laptops and other selected electronics from some flights, according to a new report.

Investigators discovered a plot by terrorists to create a fake iPad that could house hidden explosives, The Guardian is reporting, citing sources. The terrorists had hoped to get the iPad through security and onto the plane, where they would detonate the explosives inside and take down the aircraft, according to the report. The plot came after several failed attempts by terrorists to detonate explosives in their shoes and elsewhere on their bodies.

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The U.S. and U.K. announced last week that certain electronics, including laptops and tablets, would be banned from flights from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait, and other Middle East and North African countries. Authorities said the measure would remain in effect until further notice and at least for now, similar bans on domestic flights have not been announced.

In a statement last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that they’d received information about terrorists considering “innovative methods” to take down aircraft.

According to The Guardian‘s sources, the iPad plot wasn’t the only reason authorities have banned laptops and other electronics, but they did say it was one of the factors that went into the decision.

The media outlet’s sources said that intelligence agencies had suspected terrorist groups were considering different ways to get explosives onto a plane, and the iPad discovery was enough to confirm those suspicions. They added that the iPad was in fact a fake tablet, but looked nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. The explosives would have to have been plastic to avoid metal detectors.

However, the sources didn’t say exactly when the plot was discovered and how far along it was in the planning process.