Federal agents have arrested a Saudi Arabian traveler who arrived at Detroit Metropolitan Airport with a pressure cooker, a key component used in the Boston Marathon bombings last month. But his nephew says the case is a ‘misunderstanding,’ and that the pressure cooker his uncle was bringing for him so he could make lamb.
AP Nasser Almarzooq told The Associated Press on Monday that he’d asked his uncle, Hussain Al Khawahir, to bring him a pressure cooker because the ones he bought in the U.S. didn’t work. (Oh of course, everyone knows Saudi technology is so much superior to American technology)
Almarzooq says he’s concerned about his uncle and hasn’t been told anything since his Saturday arrest. Almarzooq goes to the University of Toledo and says his uncle was coming to visit him for a couple weeks.
Al Khawahir is accused of using a passport with a missing page and making false statements about why he was traveling with the pressure cooker.
A Saudi man was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after federal agents said he lied about why he was traveling with a pressure cooker, according to a court documents filed Monday. Two pressure cookers were used in last month’s Boston Marathon bombings.
Hussain Al Kwawahir was being held Monday in Detroit on allegations of using a passport with a missing page and lying to Customs and Border Protection agents.
A criminal complaint says Al Kwawahir arrived at the airport Saturday on a flight from Saudi Arabia via Amsterdam. The complaint says Al Kwawahir told agents he was visiting his nephew, who he said is a student at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
The complaint says Al Kwawahir originally said he brought the pressure cooker with him because pressure cookers aren’t sold in America, then later said his nephew had bought one but it “was cheap” and broke after one use.
Agents said they also noticed a page was missing from Al Kwawahir’s passport from Saudi Arabia. He told them he didn’t how it had been removed, and said the document had been locked in a box that only he, his wife, and three children have access to in his home, according to the complaint.
Al Kwawahir was read his Miranda rights, which he said he understood, and he invoked his right to remain silent, according to the complaint.
A Monday detention hearing for Al Kwawahir was delayed and a message seeking comment about whether he has an attorney was left with a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit.
Authorities say brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev set off two shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs April 15 near the Boston Marathon finish line, an attack that killed three people and injured more than 260.