A small number of domestic travelers — those currently on federal watchlists — may be selected to turn their electronic devices on at security while traveling, U.S. officials have told NBC News.
It's the first indication that enhanced security measures that were requested at foreign airports with direct flights to the United States have been implemented in the U.S. — although it's unclear how many people are on the notoriously secretive watchlists.
"As the domestic traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers," said an official with the Department of Homeland Security. "During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Devices selected for this screening that are unable to power up will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening."
The measures were put in place at overseas airports after American intelligence officials grew concerned about new efforts by terrorists in Syria and Yemen to produce a bomb that would go undetected through airport security.