Will Saudis have to stop using pressure cookers when abroad?

pressure cooker

Neighbors called in the FBI when Saudi student Talal Al Rouki was spotted walking across the street carrying a suspicious looking object.
Which turned out to be a pressure cooker containing khabsa he was taking to bring to a friend. (Saudi men are very good at cooking rice)

Talal said he was questioned by the FBI last Friday about the suspicious ”bullet-colored” pressure cooker.

“I was eating breakfast and I heard the [doorbell] ring at an unusual time, and when I opened the door… [there was an FBI team] and one of them asked me, ‘Are you Talal?'” Rouki told Okaz, according to a Huffington Post translation of the article. “In that moment I was nervous, though I am confident and I have nothing to hide, so I replied to them that they are in front of Talal [right now].”
“So they [questioned] me calmly at the door, after that they asked me for entrance into the house so I allowed them that and their questions revolved around my studies and the history [of my time] in the United States and the activities I plan to [pursue] after college,” he added.
Satisfied, the agents withdrew, but not before one of them told al Rouki to “be more careful moving around with such things.”

When contacted by The Huffington Post, FBI spokesman Christopher Allen said he is not familiar with the incident. A representative for the FBI’s Detroit office had no comment, and a representative for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Another Arab man was detained at Detroit airport, also for carrying a suspect pressure cooker.
His nephew, Nasser Almarzooq, told The Associated Press that he had asked his uncle to bring him the pressure cooker so he could make lamb. The college student said two pressure cookers he bought in the U.S. were “not good at all,” and said the ones available in Saudi Arabia are higher quality.
“I’m Arabic,” said Almarzooq, who is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Toledo in Ohio, about 55 miles south of Detroit. “I always use pressure cookers to cook”.

A criminal complaint alleges that Al Khawahir arrived at the airport Saturday on a flight from Saudi Arabia via Amsterdam, and that he told agents he was visiting his nephew.
He originally said he brought the pressure cooker with him because pressure cookers aren’t sold in America, then later said his nephew had bought one but it “was cheap” and broke after one use, according to the complaint.
Agents said they also noticed a page was missing from Al Khawahir’s passport from Saudi Arabia. He told them he didn’t how it had been removed, and said the document had been locked in a box that only he, his wife and three children have access to in his home, according to the complaint.
Al Khawahir was read his Miranda rights, which he said he understood, and he invoked his right to remain silent, according to the complaint.
Gina Balaya, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit, said Al Khawahir made his initial court appearance Sunday, but his Monday detention hearing was delayed until Tuesday afternoon. A message seeking comment was left with his defense attorney.

Pressure cookers have been a source of tension in the wake of the Boston bombings, the bombs were made out of shrapnel filled pressure cookers they killed three people and injured 260.


Read more: Okaz

Huffington Post

Yahoo News


23 Responses

  1. Having dealt with victim injuries @ boston bombing i want those involved punished and hopefully severely .

    but at the same time, pressure cookers are in my opinion one of the healthies/easiest,quickest way of cooking, i have 3 of them i use , cooking lentils is a breeze in them and for us vegetarians a must. so it’s not only used by saudis, i”m quite sure most indian households have one.
    so chasing after men with pressure cookers may not be a practical thing to do.

  2. This is ridiculous…

  3. note: get a cooker that is NOT bullet coloured. Maybe pink would work.

  4. Of course Americans are sensitive about young males, particularly young middle eastern males, with pressure cookers. The images of people’s legs being blown off senselessly is quite fresh. What surprises me is a young Saudi male cooking. In my experience, most of them don’t do much around the house. Also, I have an American pressure cooker that I have had and used for over twenty years and it still works great – perhaps Saudi’s need to be more sensitive to their hosts – at least until a few years have passed.

  5. “What surprises me is a young Saudi male cooking. In my experience, most of them don’t do much around the house.”


  6. It is very strange.

  7. I know the food is fabulous – I just never saw any of the students I know cook anything! It is just my experience……….

  8. Radha, how courageous of you to admit that you have three pressure cookers….
    And a Saudi husband…..
    That combination is a bit, ehm, provocative?

    Oh, you actually dealt with some of the victims of the Boston bombing? How shocking. That was such a cowardly attack on innocent people. One of these bastards is unfortunately out of the reach of justice. The other is still in hospital I think.

  9. Although I am a bit surprised about ”American” pressure cookers not being as good as ”Saudi” pressure cookers. With the global economy as it is I bet the American pressure cookers come from China.
    And the Saudi pressure cookers come from China too….

  10. ^^this guy in the video is certainly better at chopping than I (a Canadian, mother of 3) ever will be !! haha If you ever went to a ‘potluck’ held by young Saudi men, you would never be surprised by their ability to cook! So good!! Not being able to use a pressure cooker is a silly notion.

  11. Nassima, thanks for posting that video. Isn’t it lovely to see men cook? And this is clearly a very experienced cook! And that looks super yummy… I am getting very hungry now!

    Here is another man cooking video, make sure your sound is at a low level…
    Vegan Black Metal Chef:

  12. You are right! I don’t expect to be invited to a potluck held by young Saudi men – I am just going by my experience with hundreds of Saudi male students – they,, with the exception of one, never cooked at all. I know they do, I have just never seen it!!! It is silly not to use pressure cookers but all we hear is “If you see something, say something” and the bombing was horrific. International students who carry pressure cookers on airplanes and over to a neighbor’s house will, right or wrong, arouse suspicion because Americans are traumatized by the Boston bombing. It will calm down but right now, emotions are high. I think it is natural for people to react this way although it is not fair there will always be people who will over react. . ,

  13. The young student was wrong. We do have pressure cookers of high quality in the US.
    They’re not easy to find and they’re quite far from inexpensive.

    Personally, I have two inexpensive ones that have amazed me by not failing and causing me to have to shell out $200 or so for a high quality one.
    Since I can’t find the unit I bought while I was in Qatar… :/

    As for the gentlemen in the above story, the student wasn’t thinking about what had happened recently. Oops, big misunderstanding that was easily cleared up.
    As for the gentleman at the airport, his detention makes absolutely no sense. Even with a missing page from a passport.
    Perhaps, a bit of linguistic misunderstanding and some paranoia on the part of the agents after the tragedy in Boston?

  14. I noticed a comment that must’ve been moderated out, but it had me thinking the same thought that I had when I first was reading the article.
    What is bullet colored? I’ve handled and used many, many firearms during my military career and while target shooting and hunting. One usually has brass cartridges and either lead or copper jacketed lead bullets.

    Never saw a copper clad pressure cooker. Aluminum doesn’t look like lead and stainless steel most certainly does not look like either copper or lead.

    As for some of the comments about seeing men cooking in the kitchen, well, you’d be in nirvana at my house.
    Our standing family joke is that it is *my* kitchen and occasionally, I’ll permit my wife to use it.
    It is good that she enjoys my cooking! I’ve also had many compliments and recipe exchanges from Indians, Finns, Brits, Iranians, Arabs, Nepalese, multiple African nationals, Germans, Turks, Chinese and fellow Americans.

  15. The situation could be a translation problem or a person who was just nervous over being asked about the cooker and having a brain freeze. Of course the agents are probably reeling from taking hits that they did not adequately do their jobs on the other two so they might be a bit zealous. However, unless I actually read the criminal complaint I will hold off giving my opinion on this one.

    The next one is okay………. as well who the hell would blame anyone right now for calling on someone who is carrying a pressure cooker whatever their race, gender or ethnicity. People nerves are a bit on edge. The police investigated and found there wasn’t an issue. If the people hadn’t called and it was the opposite situation resulting in loss of life they could be the sort to have never forgiven themselves for not getting involved and reporting the activity. Ergo, just concerned citizens and a system that investigated finding nothing and moving on. Another words a system that apparently worked……..no harm…no foul just concern for your fellow person.

  16. I find it very hard to believe that the uncle did not know about the Boston bombing even if he was in Saudi. Certainly the nephew was well aware of it and should not have requested that his uncle bring him one. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was intentional just to get detained or perhaps to test the system and then complain about being mistreated for such a ‘silly little thing’.

  17. wzrd1 Yes, there was a funny comment about a pink pressure cooker, it was not moderated away, there was nothing wrong with the comment. I don’t know why it has disappeared.
    Our excuses to the writer.


  18. Actions can have far-reaching repercussions. Just like shampoo.

    We complain if not enough is done to eliminate crime and we complain when we are not free to do ordinary things.

    A pressure cooker is very useful in the kitchen. I was hesitant to use the one we were given as newlyweds due to a family anecdote of a grandmother singeing her eyebrows because of one, but following the book carefully, I have made many delicious preparations with it. We changed our aluminum one for one in stainless steel–healthier.

  19. djdfr, oh yes, you should never cook in aluminium! Is your pressurecooker ”bullit grey”? 😉

  20. @Aafke – yes I’m brave , what to do love my cooker and i especially like the ones i get in india ONLY, the sizes are what i want and it comes with 2 containers and is made to suit indian cooking exactly, I do have an electric pressure cooker but i rarely use it. I NEED my prestige cooker and pressure pan ( smaller flatter cooker) and seriously lower cost too.

    yes, the injuries were horrific to say the least. lets not dwell on that please .Me and F were actually wandering around boston that day – nowhere near the marathon, we were on the other end enjoying a nice brunch when we heard the sirens and our pagers go off like crazy , F ran to the hospital and i went to see R in person @campus ( sigh i know not good dr behavior) He responded asap to our text but still i had to see him … F was half worried, half mad that i was not reporting in ASAP , but i had to see R . and then rushed to the hosp thankfully with some cops help. all in all it was beyond horrific. . i dont want to go thru those few days EVER. and suffering in afterlife for the one fella is not good enough to satisfy my anger for what he did, i think he got off easy by dying.

  21. I feel for you and F Radha.

  22. Aafke-Art,

    the video is so original! is he cooking or is he fighting?

  23. Cooking. And he does end up with some really appetizing meals doesn’t he? A friend sent me this video, it seems he got famous with them!

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