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Lawyer: Traveler’s pressure cooker innocent

DETROIT — A Saudi man arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after federal agents accused him of lying about why he was traveling with a pressure cooker knew nothing about the device’s use in the Boston Marathon bombings, his attorney said Tuesday.

Hussain Al Khawahir brought the pressure cooker at the request of his nephew, a college student in Ohio he planned to visit, defense lawyer James Howarth said. He said the device was to be used for cooking, not bomb-making.

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Two pressure cookers were used to set off shrapnel-packed bombs in Boston last month that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

‘‘He doesn’t know about Boston,’’ Howarth said after joining Khawahir during a hearing in US District Court in Detroit. The lawyer said a pressure cooker is now a ‘‘red-ticket item’’ because of the Boston bombings, but noted that, ‘‘carrying a pressure cooker does not make you a criminal in the United States.’’

Khawahir, who was arrested Saturday at the airport, waived his right to a detention hearing on Tuesday, meaning he will remain jailed until a probable-cause hearing on May 28.

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