The ban on laptops in the cabins of planes flying from the Middle East to the USA is over.

Large airports in the countries affected by the ban have now taken other steps to increase security.

Those measures include checking electronic devices to make sure they don't contain a bomb and pulling more people out of airport lines for additional screening.

A spokesman for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said all airlines and airports with flights departing for the USA had met the agency's first phase of new security measures which were announced in late June but not described in any detail.

A DHD statement said: "The quick and decisive action taken by airlines, nations, and stakeholders are a testament to our shared commitment to raising the bar on global aviation security.

“Airlines were able to implement the necessary enhanced security measures because of the close coordination and extensive communication between aviation partners and DHS/TSA."

In March the USA imposed a ban on laptops in the cabins of planes coming into the country from 10 Middle Eastern airports. This week, King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was the last of the 10 to comply with USA security measures and exit the laptop-ban list.

The ban grew from fear that terrorists were working on bombs that can be hidden in devices such as laptop and tablet computers. A test was carried out on an airplane on the ground and a laptop bomb destroyed the aircraft.

Intelligence reports indicate terrorists lacked the ability to detonate such a bomb remotely - meaning they couldn't trigger a bomb in the cargo hold while sitting in the cabin.

Some safety experts have cautioned that putting devices with lithium ion batteries that are prone to overheating in the cargo increased the risk of fire.

Now the Federal Aviation Administration is telling airlines that devices with lithium batteries should be put in carry-on baggage and not placed in checked luggage -- the advice that existed before the March order covering large electronics devices in the cabin.

Homeland Security Secretary John said there will be additional testing of devices to make sure they are working computers and not a disguised bomb and more people will be pulled aside for extra screening. He did not say how agents will decide who gets pulled aside.