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Texas Ninth-Grader Arrested for Allegedly Bringing Bomb to School, Device Was Actually a Homemade Clock

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An Irving, Texas ninth-grader has been arrested after he brought a homemade clock to school. Police took 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed into custody after they claimed that his homemade device looked like a bomb.

Mohamed loves tinkering with electronics in his spare time. He built the device using a circuit board and power supply wired to a digital display and showed it to his engineering teacher at Irving MacArthur High School, according to The Dallas Morning News. However, his teacher warned him not to show anyone the device.

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

The clock later went off in English class and when Ahmed brought it forward to show the teacher, she accused him of bringing a weapon to school. He was later taken away and questioned by police officers.

While being questioned one of the officers said, “Yup. That’s who I thought it was,” according to The Dallas Morning News.

In spite of the officers’ questioning and the principal’s threats of expulsion, Ahmed insisted the device was not a bomb. He was eventually taken away in handcuffs, to the surprise of classmates and his counselor, and put in a juvenile detention center. The school also suspended him for three days.

After taking a homemade clock to school, Irving MacArthur High student Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was taken in handcuffs to juvenile detention. Police say they may charge him with making a hoax bomb — though they acknowledge he told everyone who would listen that it’s a clock. (Vernon Bryant/Dallas Morning News)

Ahmed Mohamed, 14. (Vernon Bryant/Dallas Morning News)

Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, a Sudanese immigrant, accused authorities of racially profiling his son and discriminating against him because of his name.

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

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also got involved in the case. Earlier this year, Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne accused Muslims of trying establish Sharia law in America. Van Duyne’s accusations were based on a false rumor, but it made her a rising star in right-wing circles. She has become a much sought-after speaker among anti-Islamic groups.

“This all raises a red flag for us: how Irving’s government entities are operating in the current climate,” said Alia Salem, executive director of CAIR-DFW.

She said lawyers were looking into the way Ahmed was treated.

“We’re still investigating,” she said, “but it seems pretty egregious.”

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