Man traveling from Saudi Arabia arrested at Metro Airport with altered passport & pressure cooker
2:28 PM, May 13, 2013
8:03 PM, May 13, 2013
ROMULUS, Mich. (WXYZ) - A man from Saudi Arabia is being held after Customs officers found a pressure cooker in his luggage at Metro Airport.
At this point, it's not known if there are any ties to terrorism.
The Boston bombers used pressure cookers to kill three people and wound dozens of others last month.. and now U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers have found a pressure cooker inside the luggage of a Saudi Arabian man at Metro Airport.
33-year-old Hussein Al Khawahir flew from Saudi Arabia to Amsterdam, landing at Metro on Saturday. According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Customs officers noticed that a page in Al Khawahir's passport had been removed. Al Khawahir told them he was here to visit his nephew at the University of Toledo. When they inspected his luggage, officers found a pressure cooker. Al Khawahir at first told them he was brining it to his nephew because pressure cookers are not sold in the U. S. Then officers say he changed his story, saying he was transporting it because his nephew did have a pressure cooker but it was "cheap" and broke the first time he used it.
So officers arrested Al Khawahir – and federal prosecutors have charged him with making a false statement to a U. S. Customs and Border Protection officer and willfully using an altered passport.
"It's pretty scary as a traveler to think things like that are still happening in this day and age," traveler Chris Ewals told 7 Investigator Heather Catallo at Metro Airport Monday.
News that someone was bringing a pressure cooker into the country in the wake of the Boston bombings does not sit well with Ewals.
"I think they absolutely do need to check all people, I don't care who it is. If there's suspicious activity everybody needs to be checked," said Ewals.
Hussein Al Khawahir was supposed to have a detention hearing Monday to determine if he will stay in custody while this case makes its way through the courts.. the hearing will now place Tuesday.
Al Khawahir told Customs that he didn't know what happened to the missing page in his passport, and that only his wife and young children had access to his passport at home.