TSA checking cellphones on international flights


The Transportation Security Administration is now asking some travelers on direct flights to the United States to turn on their cellphones to make sure they power up.


“This is not something to overreact to or overspeculate about, but it's something we felt was necessary,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [WATCH VIDEO]

“In this instance, we felt that it was important to crank it up some at the last point of departure airports, and we'll continually evaluate the situation,” he said.

The screening includes all electronic devices.

“Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft,” the TSA said in a statement.

Johnson said his department is continuing to evaluate the global situation as concerns increase about threats by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“Obviously, we're concerned any time a terrorist organization acquires territory, picks up capability,” he said.

Johnson said his job is to try to anticipate the next terrorist attack, not just react to the last one.

“The terrorist threat potential out there still remains, and a lot of it centers around aviation security, which we continually monitor.”

He said his feels the appropriate measures have been put into place to deal with the existing situation and “not unnecessarily burden the traveling public.”

Johnson said domestic screenings wouldn’t change and that the current security procedure “is pretty robust as the American traveling public knows.”