Ahmed Mohamed, an Irving, Texas high school student was shocked last Wednesday when he brought a clock he had made out of a pencil case to school. Unfortunately, this shock came not from being praised for his impressive invention but rather from being arrested on the suspicion that his homemade clock was, in fact, a bomb.
The inside of Ahmed’s clock, housed in a pencil case he bought online
“They arrested me and they told me that I committed the crime of a hoax bomb, a fake bomb”, he told WFAA in an interview. Ahmed was held in police custody and interrogated, without a lawyer, and was told that he was not even allowed to call his parents. “I asked if I could talk to or speak to my son and they told me, ‘No, not right now’ because they were taking his fingerprints and asking him questions,” said Ahmed’s father Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed.
Ahmed (left), with his father Mohamed (right)
The arrest sparked outrage on social media, with numerous Facebok posts, including one from Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, and even a tweet from President Barack Obama inviting Ahmed to the White House. The mayor of Irving, Beth Van Duyne, defended the district, saying, “I do not fault the school or the police for looking into what they saw as a potential threat.”
Ahmed is currently transferring to another high school.