Internet Stands by Student in ‘Hoax Bomb': Gets Internship Via Tweet

By Wednesday afternoon, #IStandWithAhmed was trending on Twitter

A Texas teenager detained and questioned by police after teachers at his high school thought his homemade clock resembled a bomb was just offered an internship by Twitter through—obviously— a tweet.

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Ahmed Mohamed is getting lots of encouragement on social media, including from President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Police announced Wednesday that Mohamed, a freshman at Irving MacArthur High School, will not be charged with possessing a hoax bomb because there's no evidence that he meant to cause any harm. Chief Larry Boyd said the device he brought to school was a “homemade experiment,” but it looked "suspicious in nature."

“Cool clock, Ahmed,” Obama tweeted Wednesday from his POTUS account. “Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also tweeted about the student's arrest, saying, "We need to be encouraging young engineers, not putting them in handcuffs."

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton wrote in a tweet, "Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building."

Scientists from top institutions including NASA and MIT also had words of support for Mohamed.

"Hey Ahmed, give me a call in a couple years. We could always use smart, curious & creative people," NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowsi tweeted.

By Wednesday afternoon, #IStandWithAhmed was trending on Twitter. 

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You’ve probably seen the story about Ahmed, the 14 year old student in Texas who built a clock and was arrested when he...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ahmed's family said high school administrators on Monday suspended the teenager for three days after he showed the clock to teachers.

Ahmed said he brought the clock he built to show his engineering teacher his skill with making things.

"I wanted to start clean with the teacher by showing him my inventions and stuff," he said. 

Mohamed said problems started when the clock rang in class with a second teacher later in the day. He said he showed that teacher the device after other students had left the room.

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"She said, ‘Well it looks like a bomb. Don’t show it to anyone else,’" he said. "And she decides to take it from me."

Mohamed said police handcuffed him and took him to Irving police headquarters for interrogation, fingerprints and mug shots. He said his family surname repeatedly was mentioned in police questioning. 

His father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, said took his son to school Monday morning and encouraged him to show his gift for technology.

"We are in the melting pot," the father said. "We are in the greatest country. We need this trouble not to hinder us, as Muslims, as Christians, as Jews, or whatever you are.”

School district spokeswoman Lesley Weaver said officials were concerned with student safety and not the boy's Muslim faith.

Police said Wednesday they plan to meet with Ahmed’s father to discuss how the investigation evolved.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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