WASHINGTON — In response to intelligence reports about plots being hatched by Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, the United States has, for the first time, asked officials at more than a dozen foreign airports to confiscate from passengers any electronic devices that cannot be turned on, American officials said on Monday.

The reports indicate that the terrorist group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was trying to disguise explosives in devices like cell phones after repeated failed attempts to bring down an American airliner.

Its chief bomb maker has created several undetectable explosives in recent years that have led the United States to alter screening procedures.

“Aviation remains an attractive target to global terrorists, who are consistently looking for ways to circumvent our aviation security measures,” said one senior American official who did not want to be quoted by name discussing national security measures.