Hussain Al Khawahir was arrested at Detroit Metro Airport with a pressure cooker packed in his bags.
The man apparently had other issues: he also “was accused of willfully and knowingly using an altered Saudi Arabian passport with missing pages and making a false statement to U.S. Customs and Border Protection enforcement officers about the pressure cooker,” Travelers Today reports.
Though he was placed in jail, Khawahir’s lawyer is arguing that mere possession of the pressure cooker does not make him truly guilty of anything.
Authorities understand, says Travelers Today, though say it’s better to be safe than sorry. "The combination of facts, including an altered passport and false statements, raised concerns," says U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade. "Although we never want to jump to conclusions, we have a duty to conduct an appropriate investigation to protect the public."
Two pressure cookers were recently used in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Apparently, Kwawahir knows nothing about the marathon bombings. He told authorities that the pressure cooker was intended as a gift for his nephew, Nasser Almarzooq, who is in attendance at the University of Toledo in Ohio, because pressure cookers aren’t sold in the States. Later, sources report, Kwawahir “changed his story, saying his nephew purchased a pressure cooker in America before, but it was cheap and broke after the first use.”
When questioned about the missing pages in his passport, Kwawahir said he had no idea why they had been removed. His lawyer also argues that “as Khawahir doesn't speak English, officials at the airport likely misunderstood him.”
Kwawahir is due in court for a preliminary hearing on May 28.