One day after Donald Trump allegedly revealed details of an ISIS plot to use laptop computer bombs on trans-Atlantic flights, the US Department of Homeland Security raised the possibility of banning PC’s on flights from Europe with executives from three major airlines, Delta, United and American, according to reports at the time from US media outlets.
A day later, the reports said, the U.S. held a conference call discussion with ministers from France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy whose governments were alarmed at the possible ban and wanted to persuade the Americans to drop the move, which the Europeans feared could cause chaos at airports.
The proposed expansion of the ban on computers carried on European flights followed a decision in March to ban PC’s from flights to the U.S. from a number of Middle Eastern countries.
The first reports about a possible ban on laptops on U.S. bound flights from Europe came on May 8th, two days before Trump’s meeting with Russian diplomats.
These moves came just a day after Donald Trump met two senior Russian officials, Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States in the White House and apparently told them enough about the plot to cause widespread consternation about his ability to keep state secrets.
But if the plan to ban laptop computers from European flights to the U.S. was already in train at the time – which the contact with U.S. airlines and European allies suggests it may have been – then it is arguable that the cat may already have been out of the bag before Trump met Messrs Lavrov and Kislyak.
With European allies and U.S. airlines aware of the Homeland Security plan to ban laptops, and the detail reported on U.S. media websites, ISIS would immediately have surmised that its plan had been uncovered.
While additional details, such as the Syrian city from where the intelligence originated, were reportedly passed on to the Russians by Trump, ISIS could have already guessed where the likely culprit for the leak was located.