Tuesday 22 August 2017

Coalition fighting Isil gathers for 'secret plan'

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (right) and Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi at the meeting in Washington. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (right) and Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi at the meeting in Washington. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

Laura Hughes

World leaders gathered in Washington DC for talks yesterday on how to defeat Isil.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump said he had a "secret plan" to defeat Isil and pledged to "bomb the hell out of" the terror group.

He has ordered his administration to "develop a comprehensive plan", but is yet to reveal the details.

Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state, yesterday hosted the first full meeting of the international coalition against Isil since 2014.

The meeting came as easyJet has become the first British airline to introduce an aircraft cabin ban on electronic devices as the British government confirmed the move was in response to an "evolving" terrorist threat.

Passengers on holiday flights from the Middle East and North Africa were told yesterday they would be banned within days from carrying laptops, tablets and other electronic devices on board the aircraft.

The British government introduced the ban after a similar move by the US, where officials revealed "evaluated intelligence" showed that terrorists are "aggressively pursuing innovative measures" to carry out attacks with devices such as laptop bombs.

According to US media reports, American intelligence officials have been given a "credible" tip-off that Isil has been developing explosives that can be hidden in electronics.

Further intelligence is believed to have come from a raid by US Navy Seals in Yemen in January, which targeted al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP).

Yesterday, Downing Street announced that more than two million passengers a year flying on airlines including British Airways, Thomson, Thomas Cook and easyJet will be prevented from taking devices larger than a mobile phone into the cabin.

Stolen

Instead, anyone flying from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia will have to put electronic devices in their hold luggage, despite concerns they could be stolen or damaged.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman admitted that the restrictions would cause "disruption", but said that they were necessary for the safety of passengers.

The restrictions will cover all electronic devices larger than 6.3in (16cm) long, 3.6in (9.3cm) wide and 0.6in (1.5cms) deep. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Irish Independent

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