A Long Island, N.Y., woman and her husband learned that their online searches are being monitored after men from what she described as a “joint terrorism task force” showed up at their front door.
Michele Catalano says her family's interest in the purchase of pressure cookers and backpacks led to a home visit by six police investigators demanding information about her job, her husband's ancestry and the preparation of quinoa.
Catalano, who is a writer for indie music and politics magazine Death and Taxes, said her web searches for pressure cookers, her husband's hunt for backpacks and her "news junkie" son's craving for information on the Boston bombings had combined somewhere in the Internet either to create a "perfect storm of terrorism profiling," according to The Guardian.
The tension of the visit by six police investigators was detailed by Catalano, who was not home at the time of the visit and posted in a story in The Atlantic Wire.
“They were peppering my husband with questions," Catalano said. "Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked. ”
A spokesman for the FBI told The Guardian on Thursday that its investigators were not involved in the visit, but that "she was visited by Nassau County Police Department … They were working in conjunction with Suffolk County Police Department."
Catalano posted about the entire scary experience and concluded with the following:
“All I know is if I’m going to buy a pressure cooker in the near future, I’m not doing it online. I’m scared. And not of the right things.”