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CBS News: Terrorists Continue To Try And Discover Ways To Target Commercial Aircraft

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For the past few months, U.S. Security officials have become increasingly concerned about the ability of terrorist organizations to target commercial aircraft.

In March, CBS News confirmed that terrorist groups have been testing a bomb that can be hidden in a laptop computer to evade security scanners. Some of the intelligence was gathered at Mosul University in Iraq.

The U.S. found evidence that ISIS was testing the explosive on screening equipment taken from the city's international airport in 2014. That led the Trump Administration to ban larger electronics in the cabins of airplanes traveling to the US from some airports in Africa and the Middle East.

Homeland Security is weighing whether to expand that ban to include Europe.

One source tells CBS News the threat is "evolving rapidly" and "more terrorists are gaining the knowledge necessary to build a laptop bomb."

Earlier this month, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said there's been an unprecedented spike in terrorist travel.

"There are more terrorist hot spots and foot soldiers now than almost any time in modern history," Kelly said.

Sources tell CBS News that some airports have already begun enhanced security measures.

Part of the challenge for security officials — is that as US and coalition forces begin to push ISIS out of territory in Iraq and Syria, the groups' fighters are expected to head to countries where travel to the US is easier.

But an electronics ban that includes Europe could be difficult to do says John Pistole, former head of the TSA.

"There are significant logistical challenges in implementing a ban of this magnitude from such popular airports such as Heathrow or Frankfurt or Amsterdam or Charles de Gaulle," Pistole told CBS News.

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