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Passport, pressure cooker problematic for traveler

Posted on: 8:25 am, May 14, 2013, by

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(CNN) — A Saudi man is jailed in Detroit following his arrest over the weekend by authorities who alleged he altered his passport and was not truthful about why he had a pressure cooker in his luggage.

According to a criminal complaint, Al Kwawahir Hussain reportedly could not explain to U.S. Customs officers at Detroit Metropolitan airport why pages were missing from his Saudi passport on Saturday.

He told them only his family had access to it and he kept it locked in a box, and that he was planning on visiting his nephew, according to the court filing.

During followup security screening, customs officers discovered a pressure cooker in his luggage.

Pressure cookers are not illegal but have been in the spotlight since authorities said they were used in the Boston Marathon bombings.

“Initially, he said that he brought the pressure cooker for his nephew because pressure cookers are not sold in America,” the complaint said.

But Hussain allegedly changed his story and said his nephew had purchased one in the United States that “was cheap” and broke after its first use, officers reported.

Based on the conflicting stories and missing pages in his passport, Hussain was arrested and charged with altering a passport and making materially false statements.

A U.S. official familiar with the matter said the intelligence community is aware of the case and is tracking it, but has not seen anything to indicate anything suspicious.

Hussain was ordered at an initial court appearance on Monday to remain in custody temporarily.

CNN was unable to reach the public defender representing him.

He is due back in court on Tuesday.