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Saudi man arrested in Detroit after statement on pressure cooker

By Bernie Woodall

DETROIT (Reuters) - A Saudi Arabian man was arrested in Detroit and charged with making a false statement about why he brought a pressure cooker with him on a flight from Amsterdam, according to a criminal complaint filed on Monday.

Hussain al-Khawahir, 33, arrived at the Detroit airport on Saturday and was questioned about why he had brought a pressure cooker with him. The man's name was spelled al-Khawahir in the criminal complaint, while a spokeswoman at the U.S. attorney's office had earlier said it was al-Kwawahir.

He initially said the pressure cooker was for his nephew, a university student in Toledo, Ohio.

"The Defendant then changed his story and admitted his nephew had purchased a pressure cooker in America before but it 'was cheap' and broke after the first use," the complaint said.

Pressure cookers packed with explosive powder and shrapnel were set off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, where they killed three people and injured 264. The bombs, left on the ground, caused gruesome injuries with more than 10 people losing limbs, either directly from the blasts or when doctors had to amputate the badly-mangled limbs.

Al-Khawahir was also charged with altering his passport because a page was torn out of the document, the complaint said.

A hearing was held on Monday in federal court in Detroit on the case but no action was taken in order to give prosecutors more time to investigate al-Khawahir, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Bob Burgdorfer)

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