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FBI interrogates Saudi student for being seen with a pressure cooker

Talal Al-Rouqi and his pressure cooker. Photo: Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Talal Al-Rouqi was on his way to prepare a Saudi rice dish at a friend’s apartment. He was carrying a pressure cooker, and that was all it took to catch the FBI’s attention, according to a report in the Saudi Gazette last week.

A woman saw him walking through their neighbourhood carrying the infamous pot, so she called the FBI.

The FBI hurried over to the apartment of Al-Rouqi, a scholarship student at Michigan State, to ask him about his studies, activities in the community, and his pressure cooker.

They soon learned he was on his way to cook Kabsa, a Saudi dish of rice and meat, at a fellow Saudi scholarship student’s apartment.

Pressure cookers and people who appear Muslim have been seen as suspicious in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. The bombs were made from pressure cookers by Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The Tsarnaev brothers are Muslim, but are also as Caucasian as can be, hailing from Russia’s Caucasus region.

In an unrelated incident, a Saudi man was arrested Saturday after giving conflicting reasons for bringing a pressure cooker into the United States.

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