Following Boston, pressure cookers have now become suspicious objects. We have news reports of a student from Saudi Arabia being questioned by the FBI after neighbors reported seeing him carrying one. It turns out that he had cooked some food in it and was taking it to a friend’s house.
Then another man was arrested at Detroit airport because he arrived from Saudi Arabia carrying such a cooker. His nephew says that he had asked his uncle to bring one for him.
Then yet another man was detained at Hilo airport because he had a ‘modified’ pressure cooker. He was released but the cooker was detained and is reportedly being analyzed by the FBI.
We do not own a pressure cooker and have never felt the need for one, but I recall that homes in Sri Lanka often use them. You may think that carrying cooking utensils on overseas travel is strange, but it happens more often than one thinks with immigrants, who are often nostalgic to make the food they remember eating in the native country. I remember an easygoing friend of mine, who cannot refuse even unreasonable requests, quietly grumbling to me that he had been asked by friend to take two large woks that filled up his suitcases. Maybe the cuisine in Muslim countries requires the use of pressure cookers more than other cuisines and hence those countries have more sophisticated versions of those utensils than can be obtained here.
Shoes and any liquids have already become suspicious objects. We can now add pressure cookers to that list.