Police patrol at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Dec. 26, 2009, shortly after a Nigerian man attempted to blow up a Delta airplane landing the airport.

Saudi Man With Pressure Cooker Arrested in Detroit

Traveler charged with altering passport, lying to customs agents.

Police patrol at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Dec. 26, 2009, shortly after a Nigerian man attempted to blow up a Delta airplane landing the airport.
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A citizen of Saudi Arabia, Hussain Al Kwawahir, was arrested Saturday with a pressure cooker at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, less than one month after two bombs made with pressure cookers exploded at the Boston Marathon.

Al Kwawahir was charged Monday with altering his passport - a page was allegedly missing - and with lying about the pressure cooker, the Detroit News reports.

The suspect initially told Customs and Border Protection officers that he was visiting his nephew at the University of Toledo and "brought the pressure cooker... because the devices are not sold in the United States," the Detroit News reports, citing the criminal complaint against Al Kwawahir. "Later, he changed his story and admitted that his nephew had purchased a pressure cooker in the U.S. but it was cheap and broken."

According to The Associated Press, Al Kwawahir arrived at the Detroit airport Saturday from Saudi Arabia. The flight had a layover in Amsterdam.

The Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C., did not immediately respond to a request for comment from U.S. News. After the April 15 Boston bombing investigators briefly focused on a wounded Saudi student, questioning him and searching his apartment, but the student was cleared of any wrongdoing. The alleged culprits in that attack were ethic Chechens, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not have a prepared statement available on Monday afternoon. A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration was also not immediately prepared to comment on the arrest.

Customs agents evidently stumbled upon the incident. "The FBI acknowledged being notified" of the arrest, a spokesman for the FBI's Detroit branch told U.S. News, adding that there was "no threat" to the public.

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