With memories of the Boston Marathon Bombings still fresh in many minds, authorities seem to be making a greater effort to thwart suspicious criminal activity. On two recent occasions, agents have performed what seem to be becoming ‘routine’ pressure cooker stops.
The first case of suspicion for being in possession of a pressure cooker came last week, according to the Daily Mail, which cites a Saudi newspaper report. FBI agents showed up to the Michigan home of a Saudi college student just days after one of his neighbors reported him carrying a pressure cooker to another person’s home. The authorities questioned the student, Talal al Rouki, about his activities in the U.S. and what he was doing with the pressure cooker. It turns out al Rouki was making Kasbah, a traditional Saudi Arabian rice dish, for a friend of his in the scholarship program. Authorities left without any further action.
On Saturday, federal agents arrested a Saudi man, Hussain Al Khawahir, at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport on suspicion of lying about why he was carrying a pressure cooker on the plane, according to Yahoo! News. The man told the agents he was coming to visit his nephew, a U.S. college student.
The nephew, Nasser Almarzooq, told the AP he asked his uncle to bring him a pressure cooker because the ones in America are “not good at all.” Al Khawahir told authorities he initially brought the pressure cooker because there weren’t any available in America, then later changed his statement to say the pressure cooker his nephew had “was cheap,” according to Yahoo! News. He also could not explain to the federal agents why a page in his passport was missing.
The uncle’s detention hearing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.