Two Kuwait students were held by New York police and questioned for nearly three hours after a hotel doormen saw two pressure cookers in the back of their car and suspected they may be intending to use them as potential bombs, it was reported.
Ayoub Alawadhi, 21, and Mohammad Alotaibi, 20, who are studying mechanical engineering at Boise State University in Idaho, drove to New York for a long weekend and on the way stopped at an Arab supermarket and bought two new pressure cookers, the New York Post reported.
Timed pressure cookers were used in the bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon in April 2013 and when a doorman at the Manhattan hotel where the students were staying saw the cookers in the back of their car he alerted New York police.
The Kuwaitis were questioned by New York Police Department counterterrorism and intelligence officers and later released.
“The police questioned us for three hours. It was a little scary,” Alawadhi was quoted as saying. “They said they found the pressure cookers. I said, ‘Yes, what’s wrong with that?’ They said, ‘You haven’t heard about Boston?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And they told me about Boston,” he added.
The students explained they intended to use the cookers to prepare rice, chicken and meat. The duo decided to cut their New York break short and returned to their studies to Michigan where they were taking some summer classes.
Pressure cookers have been used in a number of bombing incidents such as 2006 attacks in Mumbai, which killed nearly 200 people, and failed attacks on Time Square in 2010.