The Corner

Googling Pressure Cookers Earns Long Island Family a Police Visit

A woman on Long Island says that her family was visited by authorities yesterday because of their Internet search history, according to the Guardian.

Michele Catalano says her family had searched for information on pressure cookers (she wanted to learn how to cook lentils), backpacks, and the Boston Marathon bombings (her son is a news junkie), all of which combined to create what she called a “perfect storm of terrorism profiling.”

Though Catalano says her family made those searches “weeks ago,” her house was visited for 45 minutes yesterday morning by authorities (members of the Suffolk County and Nassau County police departments, according to the FBI). Catalano, a writer, put a full recounting of the events on her blog. The cops looked over most of the house and asked her husband probing questions (e.g., “Do you own a pressure cooker?” and “Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb?”).

This is apparently pretty routine; according to Catalano, the cops told her they do this “about 100 times a week,” but “99 of those visits turn out to be nothing.”

“I’m scared,” Catalano writes. “And not of the right things.”


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