A Saudi student with a pressure cooker sent some of his neighbors into a panic and prompted calls to the FBI, but the student wasn’t making a bomb. He was making rice.
FBI agents quickly diffused the situation when they realized the Saudi student was using the pressure cooker to prepare a dish for a friend.
The accused Boston marathon bombers fashioned pressure cookers into makeshift explosive devices filled with shrapnel, police said. Since the time of the Boston bombing some people have been set into a panic about the food preparation device.
In the aftermath of the April 15 bombings, some wannabe sleuths even looked up and published the names of people who had ordered pressure cookers online.
The FBI is taking the misuse of pressure cookers seriously as well. Reports from a Saudi newspaper said the agency is becoming increasingly vigilant about pressure cooker bombs in the wake of the Boston bombing.
Talal al Rouki, the Michigan students who had the pressure cooker, wasn’t making a bomb though. He preparing a traditional Saudi Arabian rice dish called kabsah.
He would not be the first Saudi mistaken for having involvement in a bombing. In the hours after the bombing at the Boston Marathon, news reports from the New York Post and Fox News said that authorities had a young Saudi man in custody in connection with the bombing.
Those reports were later contradicted by police, and it turned out the suspects were instead Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Still, the FBI exhibited caution after the report of the Saudi student with the pressure cooker.
“They asked me about my major, when I arrived in the US and what I do in my spare time” he told the Saudi newspaper.
Two days before the questioning, a woman who lives near al Rouki said she saw the Saudi with a pressure cooker pot that looked to be “bullet colored.”