Saudi man arrested in Detroit after statement on pressure cooker

DETROIT Mon May 13, 2013 3:32pm EDT

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DETROIT (Reuters) - A Saudi Arabian man was arrested in Detroit and charged with making a false statement about why he brought a pressure cooker with him on a flight from Amsterdam, according to a criminal complaint filed on Monday.

Hussain al-Khawahir, 33, arrived at the Detroit airport on Saturday and was questioned about why he had brought a pressure cooker with him. The man's name was spelled al-Khawahir in the criminal complaint, while a spokeswoman at the U.S. attorney's office had earlier said it was al-Kwawahir.

He initially said the pressure cooker was for his nephew, a university student in Toledo, Ohio.

"The Defendant then changed his story and admitted his nephew had purchased a pressure cooker in America before but it 'was cheap' and broke after the first use," the complaint said.

Pressure cookers packed with explosive powder and shrapnel were set off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, where they killed three people and injured 264. The bombs, left on the ground, caused gruesome injuries with more than 10 people losing limbs, either directly from the blasts or when doctors had to amputate the badly-mangled limbs.

Al-Khawahir was also charged with altering his passport because a page was torn out of the document, the complaint said.

A hearing was held on Monday in federal court in Detroit on the case but no action was taken in order to give prosecutors more time to investigate al-Khawahir, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Bob Burgdorfer)

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Comments (21)
TheNewWorld wrote:
Refuse entry into the country, send him back. Investigate his nephew and if anything is amiss, deport him too. Then go down the line with their family and friends. We have millions of people wanting to immigrate, we can, and should be picky.

May 13, 2013 3:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
leveriza wrote:
The feds have pressed the panic button. It is not an offense to bring a pressure cooker into the USA. And he did not admit that he tore out a page from his passport.
I am all for keeping dangerous people out of the USA, but unless the feds have information we do not know about, they have over reacted here.

May 13, 2013 3:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ChicagoFats wrote:
Guy doesn’t seem very bright. Pressure cookers can be bought cheaply in the U.S. Tearing a page out of one’s passport seems a bit foolish, as well.

But I can’t help thinking there’s less to this story than we’re hearing.

May 13, 2013 3:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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