Saudi Arabian Student With Pressure Cooker Allegedly Questioned By FBI
A Saudi Arabian student living in Michigan says he was questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after neighbors saw him with a pressure cooker and alerted authorities.
Talal al Rouki said he was questioned by the FBI after neighbors told authorities they had seen him carrying a pressure cooker. The kitchen appliances made headlines last month when it was determined the bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon on April 15 were fashioned from them.
Rouki explained to Saudia Arabia newspaper Okaz that he was using the pressure cooker to cook kabsa, a traditional Saudi Arabian rice dish, to bring to a friend from his scholarship program.
“I was eating breakfast and I heard the [doorbell] ring at an unusual time, and when I opened the door… [there was an FBI team] and one of them asked me, ‘Are you Talal?'” Rouki told Okaz, according to a Huffington Post translation of the article. “In that moment I was nervous, though I am [confident] and I have nothing to hide, so I replied to them that they are in front of Talal [right now].”
“So they [questioned] me calmly at the door, after that they asked me for entrance into the house so I allowed them that and their questions revolved around my studies and the history [of my time] in the United States and the activities I plan to [pursue] after college,” he added.
(The New Yorker has previously described Okaz as the most popular newspaper in Saudi Arabia and likened it to the Arabic version of the New York Post.)
When contacted by The Huffington Post, FBI spokesman Christopher Allen said he is not familiar with the incident. A representative for the FBI’s Detroit office had no comment, and a representative for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.
Pressure cookers have been a source of tension in the wake of the Boston bombings, which killed three people and injured 260. Last week, a man was detained at Hawaii’s Hilo International Airport after a modified pressure cooker was found in his luggage, according to the Star Advertiser. The man was later released uncharged. The FBI is investigating. At the time, the bureau said it did not believe the incident posed any imminent threat.