From the Washington Post:
We all know the Middle East is a pressure cooker that produces terrorism. But here’s a new twist, courtesy of a Department of Homeland Security bulletin issued last week to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Its title: “Potential Terrorist Use of Pressure Cookers.”
The memo warns those who search homes, cars and cargo to be suspicious of the culinary appliance, which it defines (per Merriam-Webster) as an “airtight utensil for quick cooking or preserving of foods by means of high-temperature steam under pressure.” Pressure cookers, it notes, can be turned into “improvised explosive devices” with the addition of one ingredient — explosives. Terrorists taught this technique in Afghanistan, according to the bulletin, which cites four international incidents, including one last year when Indian security forces found more than 80 pounds of explosives in two pressure cookers.
“So let me get this straight,” one homeland security operative mused. “The pressure cooker is the dangerous part, not the 40 kilograms of explosives that the terrorists placed inside the pressure cookers? Maybe we should regulate them to ensure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.”
Homeland Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said yesterday that the bulletin was among several recently circulated to warn agencies that terrorists can turn “innocuous items” into bombs. Presumably, these might include the Cuisinart, the George Foreman Grill and the microwave oven, but the bulletin provides one comfort: “Based on this notification, no change to the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) level is anticipated; the current HSAS level is YELLOW.”