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Some U.S. Bound Air Travelers Will Have To Power Up Cell Phones To Get Past Security

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NEWARK, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — Passengers headed to the United States can expect to encounter tighter security. The move comes amid the growing threat of terrorists sneaking a new type of bomb onto a flight.

As CBS 2’s Don Champion reported, the security increase could have a big impact on your phone.

Enhanced measures that have come in the thick of the busy summer travel season mean that passengers flying to the U.S. will have to show screeners their cell phones and other electronic devices actually work.

Just days ago the Department of Homeland Security ordered stepped up security at certain airports overseas. The electronic devices of some U.S. bound passengers will now be checked.

“Listen it’s a priority. I’d rather be safe than sorry,” one traveler at Newark Airport said.

The increased scrutiny came amid concerns that terrorist groups in Syria and Yemen might try to sneak undetectable, non-metallic bombs onto U.S. bound flights.

In response, the TSA has required passengers at certain airports overseas to show screeners that their electronics actually turn on and off.

In an alert to passengers, the TSA said that powerless devices won’t be allowed onto aircraft.

“Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening,” the alert said.

“You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, you know. Everyone’s safety is really important,” a passenger told CBS 2’s Champion.

U.S. intelligence officials said that there is no specific threat, but that Al-Qaeda and offshoot terrorist groups have been trying to build a new generation of bomb in recent years, similar to the failed ‘underwear bomb’ that Al- Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula snuck onto a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.

The TSA would not say which airports will be conducting the additional screening, but they will be airports with direct flights to the U.S.

Passengers departing American airports can also expect more random screenings.

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