Society

'They Thought It Was A Bomb': 9th Grader's Homemade Clock Gets Him Arrested In Irving, Texas

| by Jonathan Constante
Ahmed MohamedAhmed Mohamed

A teenage boy was taken into custody and suspended from school for creating a clock, which police and school officials allegedly thought was a bomb (video below).

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, said his hobby is to "invent stuff." He makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart. He brought his latest invention -- a homemade digital clock -- to MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, on Monday and ended up in a juvenile detention center, the Dallas News reported.

Ahmed showed the circuit-stuffed pencil case to his engineering teacher and didn’t get the reaction he was hoping for.

“He was like, ‘That’s really nice,’” Ahmed told the Dallas Morning News. “‘I would advise you not to show any other teachers.’”

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During English class, the alarm on the clock went off. Ahmed showed the teacher his invention and got an even more disappointing reaction.

“She was like, it looks like a bomb,” Ahmed said. “I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’”

The principal and a police officer pulled Ahmed out of sixth period and the teacher kept the clock. When they brought Ahmed into a room, Ahmed said he heard an officer remark: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”

Police interrogated the 14-year-old boy, causing him to miss at least two classes. They searched his belongings, questioned his intentions, and threatened to expel him if he didn’t make a written statement, according to Ahmed.

“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed said. “I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.

“He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”

Police spokesman James McLellan said Ahmed never claimed his invention was anything but a clock. Still, officers didn’t believe the boy was telling them the whole truth.

“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” McLellan said. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.

“ ... It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. The concern was, what was this thing built for? Do we take him into custody?”

Ahmed was taken out of school that afternoon with his hands cuffed behind his back and an officer on each arm. He was taken to a juvenile detention center, where his parents picked him up after he took mugshots and fingerprints.

Police are still investigating the case and Ahmed has not returned to school. His family said he was suspended for three days by the principal.

“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” said Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is also investigating the matter.

“This all raises a red flag for us: how Irving’s government entities are operating in the current climate,” said Alia Salem, director of the North Texas chapter. “We’re still investigating, but it seems pretty egregious.”

Police said they may charge the boy with creating a hoax bomb. Ahmed vowed to never bring any of his inventions to school again.

Now many have taken to social media to voice their support for Ahmed, with the hastag #IStandWithAhmed spreading on Twitter, Business Insider reports. 

Sources: Dallas News, Washington Post, Business Insider

Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube