Maker News
All Makers Have to Start Somewhere, Including Ahmed Mohamed

ahmedpressconference

Not surprisingly, there is blowback to the national story of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed’s vindication. As you of course know by now, he was led from his school in handcuffs for bringing a clock project to school that some people thought could have been mistaken for a bomb. Then he became a hero. Then people started attacking his story.

There have been political and racist attacks on Ahmed, which I will not address on this site. But there are two arguments criticizing Ahmed’s project and how it’s been portrayed that I want to discuss.

First, the statement that it was a “hoax,” or “obviously” made to look like a bomb. As the editor of Make:, let me just say that if you want to see a bomb in a homemade electronics project, it’s pretty easy to do. Just look for exposed circuits, maybe a few loose wires. Bomb! Who among our readers has not, at some point, made a device that could be misconstrued for a device that could be used to trigger an explosive? Personally, I’ve brought more than one hack to school. And at no point was I taken away in handcuffs.

In fact, my fourth-grade son has a “tinkering” after-school session once a week. You should see the things they make.

0916ahmedclock-sk

The second argument is that Ahmed didn’t really “make a clock.” Rather, he just repackaged an off-the-shelf clock radio into a small aluminum case to make it look scary.

This is the most insidious of the arguments. It says that somehow Ahmed’s project is not worthy because it’s not advanced enough.

All Makers have to start somewhere. Many of us begin by disassembling consumer products. Sometimes we re-build them into new projects or enclosures, as Ahmed did. Sometimes, as was the case when I started Making as a kid, the disassembled products don’t survive their vivisection, and they never work again. The educational value of taking things apart is huge, though, whether the components remain functional or not.

And it’s from this point that a Maker can really take off. When you see how a piece of consumer hardware is put together, you start to think to yourself, Why is it that way? How could it be better? What features could I maybe add, improve, or amplify? And then you really start to learn.

We at Make: support kids of all ages, at all stages of Making. We don’t know Ahmed well enough yet to know how advanced his other projects are, the depth of his thinking or knowledge in electronics or engineering, or how long he’s been hacking at old clock radios. What we know is that he’s on the way to becoming a Maker, and we completely support and encourage the sacrifice of a few old clock radios for the education and advancement of any young Maker.

And yes, we at Make: have a vested interest in this story. We have invited Ahmed and his family to Maker Faire New York this weekend, and offered to pay for his travel. We think he deserves to be around other like-minded people, and we also think he can serve as an inspiration to other young builders who may be at different parts of their own growth as Makers.

Note: Comments in this article are closed. Inappropriate and threatening comments are being deleted.

457 thoughts on “All Makers Have to Start Somewhere, Including Ahmed Mohamed

  1. Rafe, I think you’re being kind. From all accounts, this is an intelligent kid who apparently made other electronics projects more sophisticated than “re-building them into new enclosures.” I don’t want to speculate on more insidious reasons of why he did what he did, but it simply doesn’t make any sense to me to take an existing clock and put it in a larger container, with a handle, with no other innovations. It’s like taking a slimline DVD player and putting it into one of those old, big betamax players from 1980. Why would you do that? Why does a smart kid make a traveling, bigger version of an existing product that, I think he himself acknowledged somewhere, could be recognized for something that might seem controversial? He says of bringing it to school “I thought they’d be impressed by it.” and that both teachers he showed it too immediately had concerns about what it was. He keeps claiming he “made” a clock, that he “invented” it, not just put a clock in another enclosure. More damningly, his father, a Sudanese native, has twice run for president of Sudan (I don’t know how serious it was), owns a computer repair company, and acts as president for the local Sufi Muslim center in Irving, Texas. He was also willing to participate in the mock trial by Terry Jones of the Quran. This is not a politically unaware and technologically unsophisticated family. I simply have a hard time swallowing the story that this is just a nerdy kid making some innocent tech project for fun and that teachers and the police took it the wrong way. Maybe it was a prank, maybe something more, but I think the reaction was entirely justified and not anti-Islamic.

    1. Hmm.. I bet a lot of people would think a DVD (better yet Blueray) player that looks like a Betamax player is pretty awesome.

      1. If anything, you’ve got to be aware of how jaded your knowledge can make you. For example, I can’t remember the last time I was impressed with something that just lit up but check out how many tutorials and articles about LEDs are on this site alone. Different people like different things.

        Doing something because you think it might look cool is all the cause you need in this hobby.

          1. Similarly Hello World programs haven’t particularly impressed me for a while either.

            I would not be upset if I found out that someone had written one, though. The right response is “good on you for starting” not “why does he get to meet the President instead of me?”

          2. Not sure why you think impressing you is the point. It is not. Actually today most everyone carries a smart phone but few really have any idea how impressive the technology inside is. The fact that the media overstate the ability of Ahmed is not surprising. The media overstates a lot of things to get people to read their stories. As this article stated people with an interest in technology have to start someplace.

          3. I had another look for what I missed in your message. The President is promoting STEM education and the event Ahmed was invited to exists for that reason. Ahmed’s story was already viral. Any more comment than that is speculation. Has your story gone viral; does anyone know who you are?

          4. You’ve got the wrong end of that stick.

            ‘The right response is “good on you for starting” **not** “why does he get to meet the President instead of me?”‘ I’m saying **not** to be jealous of the guy

            Anyway, sincerely good day to you.

    2. In the absence of the exact answer to your question Why did he do exactly what he did one can only speculate. The original case may have been damaged, he may have wanted to have the internals on display so that he could discuss the parts with his teacher and others (hinged case). I have a very long history of helping 17+ year olds with electronics projects and I don’t see anything unusual in what this 14 year old did.
      By the way the word invention is often used incorrectly so that does not surprise me either.
      You may think the reaction of MIT and others was unwarranted but perhaps some overcompensation is justifiable to undo the harm done to this kid.
      His short response to the police is also not surprising. “It’s a clock”. Intimidated by authority he may well have had trouble finding more words than that. He is a grade nine student.
      I completely disagree that the reaction was justified. If more electronics projects where going on at the school it would have been just a normal thing a person sees everyday rather than something to be afraid of.

      1. The original case may have been damaged? The original case was the clock case. He couldn’t keep it in there and pretend he made it.

        1. Wouldn’t this time be better spent working on your own projects, rather than being jealous of a 14 year old who got arrested?

        2. Has it occurred to you that all you are really criticizing here is his choice of words?
          Sure the original case was the clock case of a clock from the 80’s. It may have been damaged which would give a possible reason to put it in a new case.

      2. I don’t know that we know the exact reason he chose to make and share this thing. But again, I find it highly suspect, when he claims to have made more sophisticated pieces, and his family has a odd political religious profile, that this was wholly unintentional. He’s a freshman in high school, and while that situation must have been highly stressful, I think he could use his words better than claiming “it’s a clock” over and over.

        1. Perhaps if you had worked with as many young people on electronics projects these things would not be surprising you. Some people essentially loose the ability to speak when intimidated.
          The police thought it was suspicious too but they let him go without charges after investigating. There was actually no evidence he did anything but what he claimed.

          1. And yet his family and so many on the left globally claim Islamic persecution. Do you truly think the authorities has no reason to get involved?

          2. I think if this school had had a strong pro technology program no one would have been alarmed at such a project or talked about it looking like a bomb.

        2. What else do you think he should’ve said? What “broader explanation” could he have given, when the truth was it’s a clock, I brought it in to show my teachers.

          1. He claims to have made something as sophisticated as a bluetooth speaker for a friend, and yet he wants to impress his engineering teacher with a digital clock from the 80s he gutted and put into a carrying case? But it’s “just a clock.” That makes no sense to me.

      3. He’s only a 9th grade student, and was incapable of explaining himself…… Sure, okay. I must have been the smartest person in history then, to do the things I did at 14, and to talk my way out of many of them….

    3. Ahmed said that he put this together in about 20 minutes. Is it conceivable he wanted to impress his teacher with how he could break down and reassemble a clock so quickly? And, are you absolutely 100% certain that there is not some kind of modification he did that we cannot determine from the grainy picture we are all looking at? Remember, no one commenting about this has actually seen the clock or touched it and inspected it. It’s not the best quality picture.

  2. Ahh Rafe. The frequent links to Mother Jones from your Twitter feed expose you sadly. Please save your Progressive social experiments for off-work hours as you have a duty to inform objectively. The administrators and police may have overreacted but there is ample evidence that Ahmed is not blameless for his treatment. There is more to this story than simply the clock, as you well know. How very noble of you though, to jeopardize the safety of others children on the altar of your political correctness. Shame on you.

    1. Any reputable links to sources on these other details? Anything that establishes enough of a history to warrant illegally denying a minor contact with his parents?

      1. Yea, I very clearly cited the source: Rafe Needleman’s Twitter feed. He cites Mother Jones articles to make Progressive points. I guess whether you consider Rafe’s Twitter feed “reputable” is a matter for debate. It is, however, his Twitter feed. I also clearly stated the authorities overreacted. I’m not exactly sure why you’re confused, but I’m happy to help in any capacity I am able.

        1. Please help with this specifically, “There is more to this story than simply the clock, as you well know.” Did I miss something where Rafe was at MacArthur high? Did Ahmed have some secret jihadist website? Is NASA some government front for Obama to steal your guns and Ahmed was wearing their shirt because he’s part of the Texas NASA sleeper cell?

      2. Look, you want to approach this issue from a Progressive driven agenda as an editor, then fine, but identify yourself. Hiding behind “Maker” is irresponsible. There are enough questions surrounding this incident for Rafe to have known better than to jump the shark.

  3. Unless the definition of Make which at one time was taking nothing and turning it into something changed to taking something and changing the case it came in he didn’t make anything IMO. At first I stood up for Ahmed but as the story progressed to one where it has been proven he actually didn’t build said clock I stopped standing and sat down. With him taking the innards from an old clock and putting it in a metal case it’s starting to lean towards him knowing exactly what he was doing as well as the reaction he would receive.

    1. On the contrary, the singular aspect of creation in his MAKE was to take a clock and remove the display from view in its new case. He made a clock into a hoax bomb and then he made a scene in class by plugging it into a socket. But, everybody has to start somewhere. This is just where they start in following Mohammed his namesake. And Make is just making that easier.

      1. Are you endowing Ahmed with foreknowledge and predictability, in that he can create a device in such a way as to make police and teachers react in a desired, anticipated manner.
        Can you show us where Ahmed the foreknowledge and the ability to predict a specified response by all of the parties involved?
        In order to make the accusation that the boy made a ‘hoax bomb’, you must also show that Ahmed deliberately, with malice and forethought

  4. Thank you for responding to that second argument… I’ve seen it pop up everywhere lately (as the comments below will almost certainly show you) and as a maker who started out making things that could have been perceived as dangerous (and some that actually *were* dangerous) I am glad that I didn’t have to deal with what Ahmed had to deal with… and now on top of that, he has half the blogosphere trying to make political hay by crucifying him. It’s really sad to see, but thank you for the sane response.

    1. There’s a horrible combination of trying to pull down a 14 year old and just plain jealousy about someone else getting free stuff. It’s pretty shameful.

      1. Srsly. And a heaping helping of good old fashioned American racism/xenophobia to go along with it. Blech. Ugly stuff.

    2. He didn’t “make” the thing that ended up being dangerous. He put the insides of a clock in a case which looked just like a bomb. He did absolutely nothing.

      This is soft bigotry of low expectation in all its splendor. Because the kid is brown and managed to do something most 5 year olds would be capable of he’s lauded as some kind of genius and must be heaped with unjustified praise. If you treated him like anyone else you’d acknowledge he achieved precisely nothing.

  5. a true craftsman and a genius inventor.
    seriously how dumb do u have to be to bring this to school and then act dumb when u end up in cuffs.
    he knew it was sketchy and was warned by a teacher.
    he admitted he didnt intend to show it around school (because even he knew what was bound to happen)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHk_6Vh4Qeo

    1. Nice clip but actually you have no information on the condition his clock was in when he started. Also, It was just a clock in the original case so how does it get more sinister in the new box?
      With some direction perhaps Ahmed would try to make this;
      (but he did what he could with what he had)
      https://blog.adafruit.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/20150916_0011-600×400.jpg

      Image from https://blog.adafruit.com/2015/09/17/new-guide-build-an-arduino-gps-clock/

      1. Great point – none of us, not even you Thomas, know what condition the old clock was in before Ahmed put it in the case. It could’ve been in a heap for all we know, and he reassembled it in his case and got it to work. Why would that not be as plausible an explanation as the fantastical conspiracy theory that so many are trying to weave?

    2. He didn’t intend … but he plugged it in while he was in English class and left it running until it made a noise.

  6. Thank you for this. Clearly educators need more awareness that there are young people who are interested in science and technology and these interests need to be nurtured rather than discouraged. STEM education needs all the encouragement it can get. Enrolment in STEM is down across north america yet clearly it is important that voters have some understanding of science and technology to make intelligent choices.

  7. I don’t really know what his motivations were. The various early articles on his story did say he was capable of more complex builds and that he claimed that this was a one-night thing he did to impress his new teachers. I’m not sure that makes any sense to me. It seems a little odd to me that he would bring something to impress his teachers and a lot odd that if he had already completed more complex projects that he would rush this simple one in as opposed to just bringing one of those. I think this seems a bit off.

    But.. since when did everything that everyone does make sense? I’m willing to believe that he could possibly be sincere while noting that I will never ever know. Who can tell what is going on in another person’s head?

    The more interesting thing to me is the response. We all live in a technological world today. Even if making is just not one’s thing I think everyone should have a greater understanding of technology than what would allow them to think that anything with visible circuits must be a bomb. The world around us IS technology, being smarter than that IS an obligation! It’s like learning the native language of the country you reside in.

    I think we need this society to change. People should not be proud to be ignorant. It is time to move beyond this. It should have happened with Limor Fried’s artpiece at MIT or the Mooninite badges in Boston or maybe one of probably 1000s of events that I don’t know about. If positive change starts in the aftermath of Ahmed Mohammed’s clock incident then I for one don’t care what his motivations were or how simplistic his ‘hack’ was. Good for him!

  8. I’m the poster of probably the first video about the construction of the ‘clock’, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEmSwJTqpgY (with >600K views) and appreciate your thoughts on the matter. We’ve now learned that the father is a well known political stuntman who even named his trucking company “twin towers transportation” (mocking 9/11) and it may very well be that this entire incident was engineered – time will tell whether that is true or not.
    In that case, Make magazine was seriously duped. With nearly no time to fact check, Make engaged in lots of PR around this, including advertisements for your clock kits. So, this event in which a youth was detained and then gained notoriety was quite beneficial to your organization.
    Its now my opinion that the youth’s actions were designed to trigger exactly what happened. Since creating a hoax device in Texas is a crime, the school and the police were within reason to detain him, BASED ON HIS ACTIONS AND BEHAVIORS. If they wanted to persecute him, they could have kept him in jail and prosecuted, which they chose not to do.
    I agree that everyone starts somewhere. Lavishing gushing praise on undeserved and unremarkable work does nothing to help an aspiring inventor – it also serves to demoralize young people who have achieved considerable accomplishments through hard work learning and building. A mentor can and should take a young person down the next steps of invention, which requires some honesty. I’d probably praise a 7-8 year old for unboxing a clock but not a high schooler.
    I hope your event is a good one. If this youth comes to your event, teach him well. After meeting him and his family, you will probably have some insights. Please share them.

    1. I agree with you on this, and I am disappointed that MAKE seems to want to double down and and not even scientifically consider that the father is a policital operative, and that MAYBE they were duped. They also seem to be ignorant to the fact that removing the casing is not making anything but a fire hazard when dealing with high voltage. When plugged in this case would be very dangerous.

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      2. Lots of things makers play with is dangerous, and has high voltage. Ever play with a tesla coil?

      3. Yeah, even if it was a carefully considered ploy by the Dad I doubt Make had a hand in it, and the message that it’s OK to tinker IS a good one. Why does the internet automatically have to turn to hate.

        1. Because if this kid did manipulate the system for personal gain, then rewarding him for it is morally reprehensible. Combine that with the fact that going forward you’re going to have teachers in schools second-guessing “see something, say something”. You have quite literally potentially endangered schoolchildren across the country. If the worst case scenario is true(which I don’t believe, but the full spectrum of possibilities needs to be discussed) and the father is an islamic fundamentalist engaging in jihad, then Maker magazine, and every other one of these elite institutions like MIT and Google have now colluded with jihad. Those are all still possible scenarios, however unlikely. It is an absolute embarrassment that a rush to innocence was made in order to make some misguided Progressive point. I mean, this kid now has a CAIR handler following him around. CAIR, according to experts, has strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and has had several members arrested on terrorist charges. There’s a lot more going on here than Clockmed.

    2. Mr Talbot.
      Actually, you give the child much more intelligence that people who support his ‘making’ the clock ever could.
      You, and people who believe the motive of Ahmed was political in nature alsho endowed him with the power of foreknowledge.
      For the scheme you accused Ahmed of committing, he, and all of his co conspirators would have had to anticipate the reactions of all the parties involved, and create a device, act in a certain manner to get the reaction that you claim is political in nature.
      Now about your half truth about what a ‘hoax bomb’ is.
      A box with circuit boards and wires is not a hoax bomb can only be defined by what the creator does with it. If Ahmed claimed that it was a bomb, or harmful in any way, and/or if he intentionally made it or placed it in such a way as to ’cause alarm’
      So, can you tell me how you know that Ahmed claimed that his clock was harmful, or he intentionally placed it, or designed it in such a way as to cause alarm please?
      Please source your original material, not someone ‘agreeing’ with you.
      Oh…and whether Ahmed repackaged the clock is irrelevant to my question because your accusation was not in any official report by the police as to why they acted the way they did toward Ahmed.

      1. The baseless claim is that Ahmed made anything. He didn’t. He took it out of one case and put it in another. Why is the 9V battery lead not connected to a 9V battery? The clock didn’t include one. He’s lazy and not an inventory. Read up on his dad, the Sudan and the politics involved.

        1. Going back to the original question I asked about Mr. Talbot KNOWING about the motives of Ahmed.

          Can Mr. Talbot prove that young Ahmed possessed foreknowledge about the reactions of the police, and the teachers, and deliberately engineered a device to invoke that predicted response from all of the parties involved.

          Can Mr. Talbot prove that young Ahmed created a device that he threatened harm, and/or told someone it was harmful, and/or deliberately designed the device for the explicit purpose to ’cause alarm’.

          If Mr. Talbot can not prove these allegations, then it is obvious that his intention was to slander the boy and his family.

          Not going off into tangents. I want my specific questions answered. Please encourage Mr. Talbot to respond to my comment if you know him

          Thank you.

          1. What is a ‘political stuntman’, and what ‘political stunt’ did Ahmed’s father participate in that you have a credible source for, and please post it here. Don’t only post the website, but explain in the dialogue box why your post is relevant to the specific question.

            What behavior did you personally observe that you believe justified handcuffing and detaining Ahmed and refusing him to consult with his parents? (please answer the whole question…especially the part where he was not allowed to consult with his parents) Please do not tangent off into ‘the police don’t have to let his parents see him’. Tell me why the police would not let the child and the parents be together.

            You are still making the positive statement that Ahmed purposefully designed a ‘hoax bomb’ in order to provoke a desired response in order to make a political statement. Please justify that in the context of the law.

            Lets understand that a ‘hoax bomb’ is defined by the creator’s intention. A box full of LEDs, wires, and circuit boards unto itself is not a ‘hoax bomb’, as you are trying hard to imply.

            A hoax bomb is a device in which a person claims will harm another, and/or deliberately designed, and placed in such a way to ’cause alarm’.

            Please tell me how you continue to make this positive statement that Ahmed made a ‘hoax bomb’ without knowing that he told someone it would explode or hurt them, or Ahmed purposefully designed it to cause alarm.

            Please don’t tangent my question…focus directly on Ahmed’s…and ONLY Ahmed’s intention with his clock.

          2. A political stuntman? What is an online raving lunatic more concerned with someone else’s life than their own? Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

          3. You sir, deserve a medal! Taking up with this crazy “cat lady” who seems a bit too interested in this case.

            Interesting fact: She replied to all Thomas Talbot’s messages from other topics on Disqus, so she’s either a lunatic or involved in Ahmed’s case in a more personal way.

            Yes Nur – I do believe you are crazy, medically speaking! I do not have any evidence for my claims but you know what?

            …..

            You’ll never know what I wanted to say next and you’ll have to live with it!

          4. As long as you don’t do what Mr. Thomas Talbot did…maliciously search the internet to find an innocent, unrelated person, create a false persona, and claim that this person conspired with me to make me a crazy cat lady, it is your opinion…and I could give a flying spaghetti monster what you think.

          5. Yup! Your diagnosis is now ‘confirmed’.

            Thomas Talbot only reacted to what was all over the media, where this 14-year-old “Einstein” supposedly “invented” a clock (which he did not, as shown in the video) and got arrested for it. Completely false!

            The story has become tiresome, yet interesting from the “islamophobia guilt” it generated among people like YOU “Cat lady Nur” who started defending nothing more than a prankster who got what he deserved.

            Peace!

          6. However, Mr. Thomas Talbot had an opinion, and maliciously sought out a random person to justify his opinion, slandered that person, and falsely claimed that that person was Ahmed’s father is where the wrong is.

          7. The facts that the authorities overreacted, and that this entire incident was contrived from the start are not mutually exclusive, my easily manipulated friend.

          8. “The facts that the authorities overreacted, and that this entire incident was contrived from the start are not mutually exclusive, my easily manipulated friend.”

            This. A million times.

          9. One has to wonder thou, the black case with a jumble of wires and an led screen is a very widely used movie trope. Is it really possible he was not aware of this?

          10. So you are saying that he made a copy of something he saw in a movie, after having foreknowledge that the staff and police would act in a predictable manner to favor his political agenda?

            Should I wear a white suit and speak in tongues and claim to heal people for money. I am watching that on TV right now.

          11. No, I don’t think he is like a master media manipulate. He was trying to be cool or something. But I do think its perfectly appropriate for the police to think its some kind of bomb hoax, because what he built is THE cultural symbol for a bomb.

          12. All I know is, according to Thomas Talbot, who has been exposed in this forum as a lying sack of crap accused the boy of removing the casing from a clock, and putting it in the pencil box in order to create a ‘hoax bomb’

            Knowing my son, I would imagine that he broke the case in order to fix a broken clock he may have found in the trash, or around the house, and after he fixed it, put it in the pencil box.

            You see, that is what my son has done many times.

            We don’t live in fear of our shadows though. This allows us to think of more possibilities than off the bat someone having bad intentions.

          13. Your son breaks clocks many times and puts the guts in a pencil box, because you just happen have those lying around everywhere? An intelligent person wouldn’t let him around the damn clocks anymore. Holy time piece, Batman.

          14. Give it up. You are way, way too rational.

            There is nothing you can say that will convince these paranoid halfwits of anything. They’ve formed the story of “what’s really going on here” in their pinheads and there is absolutely nothing that can convince them otherwise. Good on you for trying, but it will bare no fruit but frustration.

          15. This is the even crazier tinfoil hat version of Benghazi. These people will jump on anything and blow it out of proportion to try and make some “point” about “Obummer” or “Odumbo” or whatever other stupid pun crosses their simpleton minds.

            I’ve even seen one guy try to connect Ahmed’s father to the crazy pastor who made the video RESPONSIBLE for Benghazi. The crazy just never ends. I say let’s let them get it out of their system and then ignore it all.

          16. He didn’t pretend. He made a pencil-case clock. Why don’t you go try to buy one on Amazon – oh wait, you can’t? Because the only one that exists is the one Ahmed MADE? Do you think he used his magic Harry Potter Wand™? You people are sounding insane.

          17. So, I take it you don’t program or wire circuits then? Cause that is the most bimbo sounding dipsh*T I’ve ever F*cking heard.

          18. I work as a design EE for a living, and sometimes I too wish that the general public didn’t view an exposed circuit board as a suspicious object.

            However from my observations, the authors and community members of makezine seem to have their blinders on with this story, and bewilderingly reject the various actions and circumstances that bring about a reasonable doubt the sincerity of Ahmed’s “device”.

            If you’re up for it, I would encourage you and others to read an excellent article by a fellow EE and tinkerer (see below). Also would be happy to engage in a reasoned discussion about any of the points he makes.

            Hopefully I’m not wasting my time. You think a community of electronics hobbyists would be the place for rational discourse. And please don’t insult by grouping me or other well-spoken commentators with the the group that uses words like “Obummer”.

            http://blogs.artvoice.com/techvoice/2015/09/17/reverse-engineering-ahmed-mohameds-clock-and-ourselves/

          19. No, the culture of the country in which he is living. Which I believe is the appropriate standard that should be applied considering Ahmed was born in this country despite whatever misconceptions you may hold of Muslims. :)

          20. “THE cultural symbol of a bomb?” WTF??? HAAAAA!!! Really? is this in the picture next to BOMB SYMBOL in the Oxford English Dictionary? WHERE ARE THE EXPLOSIVES???? Where is the fake C-4? have you never seen the inside of a TV remote??? Or are you just inherently terrified of circuit boards?

          21. Randomly placing caps in your posts to feign incredulity does nothing to lessen the very reasonable perception that the “clock” looks like a bomb. In fact, your rather nonsensical protestations that it doesn’t make you look a buffoon. You’d be far better off focusing on the actions of the police, then a battle you lost before it started.

          22. Why would Ahmed need to build me a remote. I have grandkids for that. In fact, one of them is turning the knob to change the channel now.

          23. Nope. Movie props have fake explosives in them for the audience to SEE otherwise it looks like a bunch of computer/electronics parts in a pencil case.

          24. He can’t prove any of it and just simply without research passes along right wing extremist fear mongering. For example everything that he posted about the “twin towers corporation” as being owned by Ahmed’s father is incorrect. It is also incorrect that the name “twin towers” is some kind of disrespectful reference to 9/11. It’s the name of the freaking executive office buildings where the transportation company is located. There is even a café nearby called “twin towers café”. Oi vey!!

          25. It’s truly amazing to me that someone in his position – he is a research scientist at USC look up Thomas B. Talbot – would play so fast and loose with unsubstantiated accusations. This latest one, passing on the information about the transportation company as if it was fact, was inexcusable.

          26. We have people writing to the Muhammad family, brining their attention to Mr. Talbot’s actions.

            They can decide what they wish to do about it. This is clearly a case of deliberate slander…to find an innocent unrelated person on the internet, create a persona that implies that that innocent person is an Islamic radical, and then claiming that innocent person is Ahmed’s father.

          27. I do believe it is possible that the Aldean Mohammed who owns twin towers transportation company is the same Aldean who is the brother of Ahmed’s dad. Haven’t confirmed that 100% though. All the other speculation about the “hoax”, political stunts, etc. is just completely unsubstantiated

            Here is a link to a very nice article about Ahmed’s father and his family and their story. He seems like a model citizen to me.

            And at the very end of the article there’s a video interviewing Ahmed. They also interview one of Ahmed’s friends, who talks about how many things Ahmed knows how to fix and things he has created.
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3238709/From-banks-Nile-meeting-Obama-father-Ahmed-Mohamed-Muslim-boy-14-handcuffed-homemade-clock-lived-American-dream.html

          28. Where Mr. Thomas Talbot slandered an innocent person, and Ahmed’s family is when Mr. Thomas Talbot maliciously sought out an innocent person because his last name was Muhammad, used this person’s profile without reference to it to claim that he is a political Islamist with an agenda, that he named his cab company ‘Twin Tower’s Transport’ for a sinister intention, and falsely claimed that this person was Ahmed’s father in order to justify his opinion about Ahmed’s intentions..

          29. Just for the record, Ahmed’s last name is spelled Mohamed. Not Muhammad. So Talbot can’t even get the spelling of his NAME right.

          30. As soon as I explain how you arrived at your conclusion using evidence, not speculation? I have no explanation.

          31. That’s awesome Kat! And that’s from the Daily Mail which is the most right wing rag in Britain. When THEY aren’t jumping on the crazy train, you Anti-Ahmed peeps should really come out of your basements and get some air.

          32. It’s not “slander” or “libel” when it is a matter of opinion. I have been to court over this once myself, and the judge made it clear that we could post an opinion about someone. You cannot just claim it to be a fact. Wah, wah, wah… “Poor me, I am a muslim, everyone hates us…”. So tired of you all trying to make a media circus out of your religion.

          33. The part where Mr. Thomas Talbot maliciously sought out, and used an unrelated person’s internet profile, (because his last name was Muhammad) made the claim that because the person stated that he wanted to be the president of Sudan, he was a radical Islamist, because that innocent person owns a cab company called ‘Twin Towers Transportation’ (when the complex that the unrelated, innocent persons business has his offices in is called Twin Towers”) and falsely stated that this unrelated person was Ahmed’s father in order to create a character to justify Mr. Thomas Talbot’s opinion about the sinister motives of the boy is slander.

          34. Especially since the info on this “transportation company” is an actual HOA, complete with a residence on Castle St in IRVINE Tx which isn’t a city in TX, and a residence that’s NOT a transportation company. The inhuman MALICE these anti-muslim trolls have is astounding.

          35. No, he doesn’t need to apologize. The repackaging of the circuit was crap. It’d be hard to package it in such a crappy way without trying.

          36. Umm…making false accusations about the family of Ahmed Muhammad, to the point of finding an unrelated person on the internet, trumping up an innocent person’s political views to make him seem ‘radical Islamist’, and claiming that this unrelated man is Ahmed’s father to imply that Muhammad had bad intention is slander.

            Perhaps you can get Mr. Talbot to make corrections to what seems a deliberate attempt to slander someone else.

          37. You’re kinda’ freakin’ me out. I picture you jumping up and down in your moomoo scaring the hell out of your 27 cats.
            Mohamed, not Muhammad.

          38. He’s not a radical Islamist, he’s a publicity hound and he bumbled his way into manipulating a bunch of knee-jerk bleeding hearts who seem to viscerally respond any time someone not-white has an issue with the authorities. If you’d like to post me links to read your outrage when the white child was suspended for biting a pop tart into the shape of a gun..then by all means do so.. Until then your selective outrage tells me what I need to know.

          39. The random, innocent person Mr. Thomas Talbot found on the internet to create a false persona of a radical Islamist, and falsely stated was Ahmed’s father is a ‘bumbling publicity hound’?

            Is this another false accusation about an innocent, unrelated man Mr. Thomas Talbot maliciously sought our, created a false persona, and claimed that this person was Ahmed’s father in order to slander Ahmed and his family?

          40. …. for a 14yr old, because you’re the Scout Master to thousands of 14 yr-olds who tinker with electronics, and YOU, of all people, should KNOW! SO, obviously NOT a bomb, and not a scary clock either. So you’re saying it’s OKAY to destroy this family with zero evidence. Good to know.

          41. Ahmed needs to write a letter of apology to the 6 year-old Chinese kid who assembled the clock originally; he/she’s more of a genius inventor than Ahmed ever will be.

          42. The issue here isn’t the clock, it is the difference between what happened to the Chinese kid and what happened to Ahmed.

          43. Ahmed should have been arrested simply for being a dumb-ass and wasting everyone’s time. The Chinese kid probably went right back to work assembling 10,000 more clocks. Then collected his 14 cent paycheck for the week and left to go to his second job at the pencil case factory. Never once thinking he was the next Thomas A. Edison.

          44. What concerns me is that people who are claiming that Ahmed deliberately created the device to provoke a response that he could use for political, and personal gain are actually accusing the staff, and the police of the community of Islamophobia, by implying that Ahmed could provoke a predictable response.

          45. Carrying a suspicious-looking device into any school will provoke a predictable response; that response is standard protocol and has nothing to do with race. Failing to give straight answers when being questioned about the device will also provoke a predictable response that, once again, has nothing to do with race. That is unless you’re suggesting that folks with non-white skin colors have no way of going to school without being in the possession of suspicious devices and are also incapable of giving straight answers when questioned about them.

          46. I don’t appreciate this bullshit of people trying to change my comments into racial issues.

            I never mentioned race. Don’t try this shit again.

          47. You’re right, not racial. But not Islamophobia, either; Ahmed’s religion didn’t dictate the police or school’s protocols.

          48. Here is the problem with your comment.
            If you agree that it is true that Ahmed created the device to intentionally provoke a predicted personal and political response, then you have accused the staff of the school and the police of Islamophobia.

          49. It does – I’ve seen the video. It doesn’t prove anything about the clock that Ahmed used, if he did simply disassemble a clock. First, this is not the same model of clock in the video that people are claiming he used. Secondly, the clock in the video is in pristine condition. It is quite possible that the one Ahmed allegedly used was not in working order, and perhaps the case was broken. It is just as plausible as all the fantastic conspiracy theories floating around that he put it in the pencil case because the clock case was broken, and repaired the clock it and got it to work. You, and no one else, can say with any certainty what Ahmed actually did, because you have never examined the clock personally.

          50. These people are not seeming to understand that Thomas Talbot has the right to his opinion about the motives of Ahmed.

            Where Mr. Thomas Talbot slandered an innocent person, and Ahmed’s family is when Mr. Thomas Talbot maliciously sought out an innocent person because his last name was Muhammad, used this person’s profile without reference to it to claim that he is a political Islamist with an agenda, that he named his cab company ‘Twin Tower’s Transport’ for a sinister intention, and falsely claimed that this person was Ahmed’s father in order to justify his opinion about Ahmed’s intentions..

          51. Nur, I don’t believe that is what Thomas did. I do think it is quite possible that the Aldean Mohamed who is listed as owning Twin Towers Transportation is the same Aldean Mohamed that is Ahmed’s uncle, although no one has proved that 100%. Thomas did not slander an innocent person – I don’t believe that.

            There are a lot of right-wing sites that are posting these accusations that the name “twin towers,” is a mockery of 9/11, and I think Thomas likely just accepted it was true and passed it along without any research. What he, and others, are passing off as truth, which is completely conjecture and speculation, is that there is some nefarious, sinister reason that this Aldean named the transportation company “Twin Towers.” Even a very anti-Muslim site, that I mentioned yesterday, ibloga.blogspot.com, backed off from their original accusations when they realized that “Twin Towers” is the name of executive suites in Irving at by posting this:

            QUALIFICATION: If you enter the address of the Twin Towers Transportation Corporation into Google Maps, you will get a photograph from street level of the location. It appears the “Transportation Corporation” is in one of two buildings of Executive Suites called “Twin Towers”. So they named their company, at least in part, for the buildings in which they are located. Ok. Plausible.

            They discovered, when they entered the transportation company’s address in Google maps, 8585 N Stemmons Fwy Dallas, Texas that the street view clearly shows the name “Twin Towers” on the building. Good for them to make that admission of error. And, there is a cafe with exactly the same name, which further gives credence to that they simply named the company for the building it is located in.

            All of the speculating about motivation, that Ahmed intended this to be a “provocation” and wanted to deliberately scare people with something that looked like a bomb, is not something that can be proven by Thomas’ video. In fact, since the Irving police dropped the hoax bomb charges, that essentially means they had no evidence to charge him with creating a hoax bomb. Nor can anything about Ahmed’s father using this as a “political stunt” be proven by the video. Thomas himself is a scientist and I am sure knows well that correlation is not causation. He actually has been respectful in handling his critics, and he’s had some pretty nasty comments thrown his way, too.

          52. Mr. Talbot Googled the name of Ahmed’s father, and it came up with this innocent, unrelated person, and you are speculating is related to Ahmed, but there is no proof, created, or exaggerated this innocent person’s profile, and claimed that this innocent unrelated person was Muhammad’s father in order to slander Ahmed and his family.
            It is ok that Talbot speculated that Ahmed was up to no good, and it is fine to have that as an opinion…but when Mr. Talbot used a real person in order to justify his opinion, he slandered.

          53. Yes, it is certainly speculation that he is related to Aldean. As I said, no one, to my knowledge, as verified this.

          54. It doesn’t matter if the man Mr. Talbot slandered is related to Ahmed. What matters is, Mr. Talbot started with an opinion he sought to justify by searching the internet to find a random person he could slander, then falsely claim that this random person was Ahmed’s father in order to slander Ahmed and his family.

          55. Do they rent, or own the building? Who owns the building if they rent? Muslims are a rather insular community still as new immigrants, and often do business within their own community, quite understandably, but also extremely pertinent. These are important facts to ascertain before we abandon this particular angle. At the moment it would seem a reach however.

          56. Yet, THIS exists,
            https://mycpa.cpa.state.tx.us/coa/servlet/cpa.app.coa.CoaGetTp?Pg=tpid&Search_Nm=Twin+Towers+Transportation+&Button=search&Search_ID=32055028065
            which is clearly bogus, as there is no IRVINE Texas, and that address is a residence. These people are TRYING to destroy this family, and by extension making everyone who has reached out to him look foolish. What does it feel like to hate to the point you have to INVENT things out of thin air?

          57. Wow. Just wow. I don’t think any level is too low for some people who are viewing this through the lens of their fear and hatred for Muslims. The vitriol, hatred, and downright scary and violent comments make me feel like I need a shower after wading through a cesspool every time I read them.

          58. I understand that completely. Why do you think it’s relevant or changes any of the other facts of this story? In one thread you’re arguing to focus on Ahmed, the next I’m supposed to focus on some tangent related to one section of a video. I actually kind of get the impression I’d like you Nur, I just have to say you’re operating on supposition as much as anyone you’re arguing with frankly.

          59. You live in fear, and suspicious for no reason, I live with the assumption that my senses justify my reasoning.

            We cant like each other.

          60. Aww see Nur, now you’re just descending into hate and being a meanie. With little to no knowledge about me at all either. You do see how ridiculous that is right? You’ve created a fictional stereotype in your mind of those with whom you disagree. I think we’ve heard of that phenomena before eh? Yea, it’s exactly what you’ve been saying all day, right? Should I blame your stereotype on fear as well? Although I do find it interesting your verbiage that your senses justify your reasoning. I think if you just reversed the order you do those two things, you’d step out of that narrow hateful place you’re so eagerly building for yourself. Oh, and I forgive you for your hateful words.

          61. Yea, looked over your comment history, yuo’re right, we can’t like each other, you’re either a zealot or mentally ill with some type of obseessive compulsive disorder. Holy fruit loops Batman. You need to increase the meds or take a break from the internet lol. You have like 60k+ comments ahahahah

          62. So the building has been there for at least 11 years. Can you tell us how many other companies have called themselves ‘Twin Towers (something or other) that have gone through that office complex, and for whatever reason, named their company after the office complex?

          63. Actually, the SOS filing states that it’s in IRVINE TX, (not Irving, where they live) which doesn’t exist in TX, (but does in CA), and the address on Castle St is a residence. TROLLS have gone to great lengths to destroy this kid and his family, because racist hatred runs very very deep.

          64. Ahmed made nothing. Nothing at all. Not a damn thing. You got that, Nur? HE MADE NOTHING!

            He took the guts of a clock out of a case and put it in another case. The most effort he put into it was removing the guys and screwing it into the other case. He never assembled anything. He never engineered anything. It’s all nonsense. It’s a fraud. He is a complete fraud.

            Did you even look up his father? He’s an extremist and on a terrorist watch list. I’m sure you have a search engine. I don’t know Mr. Talbot. Never heard of him before today.

            You want the truth, right? Seeing is believing?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=20&v=kHk_6Vh4Qeo

          65. He was aware and even admits that he presumed there could be a negative reaction so he tied wires around the handle, “so it wouldn’t look suspicious.” How wrapping wires around the handle actually accomplishes this is anyone’s guess but there you go, right from the horse’s mouth. This was set up by his father from the get-go and as soon as police figured out who was behind it, they cut the kid loose.

          66. You’re the biggest loon I’ve seen on the net in awhile and that’s saying something. He doesn’t owe you any answers. Get a life of your own. Everything isn’t always about what YOU want.

          67. You’re the biggest loon I’ve seen on the net.

            You’re the biggest loon I’ve seen on the net.

            You’re the biggest loon I’ve seen on the net.

            You morons are something else. What I haven’t yet decided. but this is now an easy decision.

            A community full of good gadget makers but nitwits of human insight. Maker is now gone for me.

            Thanks Mr. Needleman.

          68. “Can Mr. Talbot prove that young Ahmed possessed foreknowledge about the reactions of the police, and the teachers,”

            No. But the fact is, Ahmed showed the device to his engineering teacher, who then warned him not to carry the device around school or show it to other teachers because it might provoke an undesired reaction. So whether Ahmed was aware of the reaction he would get when he brought the device to school, he was well aware of if when he brought the device to his English class.

            “Can Mr. Talbot prove that young Ahmed created a device that he threatened harm, and/or told someone it was
            harmful, and/or deliberately designed the device for the explicit
            purpose to ’cause alarm’.”

            No. But the fact that the device resembled the uninformed person’s idea of “bomb” makes the teacher’s reaction at least somewhat justified. Also notice that the police did not handle the situation like a bomb threat – if they had, the school would have been evacuated and a bomb squad would have been called in. Instead the just detained Ahmed and questioned him about his device before releasing him.

            “If Mr. Talbot can not prove these allegations, then it is obvious that his intention was to slander the boy and his family.”

            Mr. Talbot is not slandering the boy and his family. If you would look at the facts and not just blindly accept the narrative the media is trumpeting, it’s fairly obvious. Although what Ahmed made is clearly not a bomb if one knows what one is looking at, are teachers supposed to be bomb experts? Again, the police did not handle the incident like a bomb threat but simply detained the boy before releasing him. However, his parents were extremely quick on the trigger of “islamophobia!!!!!”, and began propagating the lie that he built the clock himself. Within a very short time they already had a fundraiser up for him, and there are talks of legal action. (Keep in mind that the boy was released the same day, and that his life is completely back to normal for him – no suspension, no charges, nothing.) It’s rather obvious that since they lied about Ahmed building the clock, and instantly took advantage of the situation for their own personal and political gain, this is not a case of “poor bright kid is punished for being smart”.

            Also, cut it out with “young Ahmed”. Yeah, he’s young, but that doesn’t make him any less of a potential threat. Columbine was perpetrated by “young” people. Stop exploiting his age to further your agenda.

          69. What the hell does the motive matter. The damn thing looked like a bomb. It is a miracle or mistake the teacher didn’t run like hell and pull the fire alarm evacuating the school. That is exactly the actions which should have occurred when she suspected a bomb. The kid should have been detained to investigate further.

          70. In order to call something a ‘hoax bomb’ it isn’t enough that to someone, it looks like a bomb.
            The creator must have told someone that it is a bomb or other incendiary, and/or that it will explode or otherwise cause harm, it intentionally be designed and placed in such a way as to ’cause alarm’

            The component you are lacking to call this a hoax bomb is proof of the intention of Ahmed Muhammad.

          71. I didn’t accuse Mr. Talbot of being Islamophobic, I showed that he had an opinion, and tried to justify it by finding a random, unrelated person on the internet, creating a false persona using that person’s information, and using that false persona to slander someone else.

        2. emaleroland, I am just trying to figure out what the device was. If there was not battery in it, how was it making a sound?

        3. You clearly didn’t read the article. Didn’t you learn in grade school that you can’t lie your way through a test because you failed to do the required reading? Then you have the audacity to tell us to read up on stuff? sheesh!

      2. Yeah, it’s straight out accusing the guy of a crime. Accusing someone of making a fake bomb, intending to cause a bomb scare, terrorism etc offences is a big deal.

          1. The Irving police admitted there was not enough evidence to charge him with a “hoax bomb.” Yet, many very vocal people here and across the net, including Thomas, are speculating that he did bring the clock to school to be “provocative,” to scare people. If that is true and there was evidence to substantiate that charge, the Irving police would not have dropped the hoax bomb charges. Essentially, they decided that there was no evidence that Ahmed intended to scare people and cause alarm with the clock. The fantastical theories of sinister motivations are growing more detached from reality by the minute, it seems.

          2. I actually wouldn’t characterize the motivations as “sinister”. I believe Ahmed’s father is an unsophisticated bumbling publicity hound, and he bumbled his way into manipulating a bunch of bleeding heart Liberals into making asses of themselves.

          3. If, as you say, Ahmed’s father was able to successfully manipulate the national media, facebook, Google, MIT, the President – I don’t think “unsophisticated” and “bumbling” are adjectives that aptly describe him. He’s a PR wizard, then! I’m glad to hear you aren’t jumping on the “sinister” bandwagon. I’ve read plenty of posts that say this is was a “dry run”, a practicing for some future terrorist event. The level of paranoia is staggering.

          4. No, he was hoping to create a minor issue, and underestimated the desperate yearning Progressives have for every incident involving a brown person and the authorities to be racist. The paranoia is staggering, and so is the left’s willingness to both pre-judge and leap to conclusions. You’re both equally ignorant. So to either condemn, or award this child is a display of your ignorance. The difference is, that people public servants like Obama, the police and school administrators, and “alleged” journalists like rafe Needleman really have a duty to not do these things, until a complete story emerges. On these counts the aforementioned have failed.

          5. Ah, I get it. You’re mad because cool things are happening for Ahmed, and there isn’t enough empathy and humanity in you to be HAPPY for the kid, after he got mistreated by the very people who are supposed to be encouraging him, and looking out for his welfare. Or can we only have WHITE success stories in the US now?

          6. A box full of wires, circuit boards, and an LED display is not a ‘hoax bomb’ in itself, otherwise your computer can be described as such as well.

            The law states that a ‘hoax bomb’ must be deliberately constructed for the sole purpose of causing alarm, and/or the creator used the creation to threaten harm to someone, or claimed that it is an incendiary or that it would explode.

          7. No, it’s wasn’t a hoax bomb, but it could have been, and that is why Ahmed was detained until it was ascertained it was not. Exactly how it should have been handled regardless of the child’s skin color or religion. Some reports indicate Ahmed was also uncooperative. I don’t know what that means really, but NEITHER DO YOU. I do know it’s grossly insulting to undoubtedly more deserving and talented makers to reward this kid the way he has been, before you know the answer to certain aspects of this case. That’s where some have gone completely off the rails. Including the author of this article,Rafe Needleman.

          8. …and I could have been the Queen of England.

            How is explaining the definition of a hoax bomb the same as judging the kids motives, or accusing him of something sinister because he claims to have made a clock.

            The only thing sinister, and maybe criminal that happened on this forum was that THOMAS TALBOT had an opinion as to the motives of Ahmed, and in order to justify his opinion, he deliberately, and with malice found an innocent, unrelated person with the same name as Ahmed’s father, sexed up this internet person’s bio to make evil claims about that persons political aspirations and their business, falsely claimed that that innocent person was Ahmed’s father in order to slander the boy and his family.

            That is the issue I am having with THOMAS TALBOT.

      3. Um, do remember the boy in the balloon? Remember Dad? That;s what I think we have here. And his being an anti Islamaphobia activist is no coincidence. Did you see Dad, all smiles, feeding pizza to the media camped out on his lawn? This entire thing was planned and executed.

      4. Yes, a Muslim kid bringing a device to school on 9/11 that resembles a bomb is just an unfortunate coincidence. He had to bring it out at 4-5 classes before any teacher did anything.

    3. I think the controversy has more to do with how the kid was treated. With no real evidence he was handcuffed, questioned without his parents or attorney being present, threatened with prosecution, and suspended from school.

      Let’s assume your hypothesis to be correct and this was some type of premeditated stunt. That still doesn’t justify the response. The teachers and law enforcement still acted in a way that was bullying and inappropriate. They had no way to know they were set up, but it doesn’t matter. What happened to this kid was wrong.

      Even if Ahmed is not a progeny maker genius, he still deserves support from his teachers. A more appropriate response might have been to treat his presentation as the first step in a journey of discovery. Not to call in the police, even if we assume that is what he actually wanted.

      1. David.
        Thomas is being exposed as a person attempting to imply that Ahmed had an agenda,. The wheels are coming off of his lies, and slander.
        I would just make him address why he would post such crap and not research it fully unless his intention was to slander a 14 year old kid.

          1. In other words, Mr Thomas Talbot will have to admit in court that he was caught finding some random guy on the internet because his last name was Muhammad, creating a false persona about that random person to imply that the name of his company had sinister motives, and his political ambitions were ‘Islamic stunts’, and falsely claiming that this guy he chose at random was the father of a 14 year old kid, in order to slander him and his family.
            Now, had Mr. Talbot kept his opinions to simply that he believe the boy made the clock to invoke a predictable response from the Islamophobes in is community, and it worked, he would have been fine, but to find some random person on the internet, lie about that person in order to slander the kid went too damned far.

          2. Mr. Talbot is an Arab.

            Are you seriously stupid enough to be claiming that he’s doing this because he’s a racist?

          3. Arabs can also have an opinion, and try to justify it by finding some random person on the internet, creating a false persona about that person, and use that false persona to slander someone else.
            Not seeing your point in defending what Mr. Talbot did by claiming that Arabs are not capable of doing it.

        1. The wheels at coming off anytime soon. It seems even the most liberals of liberals are seeing this for what it is. I myself am a tech. and knew the moment I saw this thing, it was just a clock removed from it’s plastic shell and placed in a pencil case that resembles a suitcase. Then, the fact that this kid mounted the LED as though it was a “countdown” timer is strange as well. Most of the newer comments the past few days, all agree, that it looks like a Hollywood “suitcase bomb” prop. This kid’s father is a pro Sharia activist and just so happen to live in a city (Irving) that objected to an islamic tribunal court being built there. Then, in that very same city, the imam for the Irving mosque (that the family probably attends) happens to be one of the self-proclaimed sharia judges from “said” islamic tribunal organization. It is listed on their website. Too many odd things going on here. This is not some random muslim kid…

          1. No it means that this incident didn’t occur in a vacuum, and more intelligent people than you are able to see context.

          2. Also, why put the display for ANYTHING in a closed case? Hey look at this great TV I made, the screen is inside a box…real genius.

          1. Mr. Talbot slandered a random person he found on the internet by creating a false persona using that persons internet bio, and falsely stated that that person was Ahmed’s father in order to slander Ahmed and his family.

            Not sure if what Mr. Talbot did is fraud.

      2. I sure hope the teachers at his next school are much more tolerant of
        bomb-looking devices. After all of this, they damned well *better* be.

        1. Considering the situation – it would take three simple questions (Ahmed: “What is it?”, “Why did you bring it?”, teacher pointed to in the answer of the second question “Is Ahmed telling the truth?”) to ascertain it’s not a bomb. Now *suspecting* it’s a bomb on itself is a ridiculous notion.

          Because a bomb wouldn’t beep. Because the kid wouldn’t bring it to class, but leave at a spot where it could cause most destruction. Because requiring a mains power cable on a bomb is ridiculous. As is the clock display so big.

          It takes a special mindset – that of a mindless, panicky herd animal eating whatever media feeds them without a shade of criticism – to react like the teachers did. If – what some claim – that was the effect of what the kid’s father wanted – then he got it, proving the panicky stupidity and racism of the school board.

          Once again, it was easily avoided, On the insanely low off-chance this would be really a bomb (made by someone clearly insane, because the situation completely negates possibility of any marginally competent terrorist) this could have been explained quickly and safely, without engaging the police. But of course racism, prejudice and OWN LACK OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION of the teachers caused the overreaction.

          1. Congratulations on being a herd mentality idiot, Greg. Neither of these is a bomb and a quick Google search explains the above is a “demo case” for showcasing electronics. I didn’t need Google to know it though, for the simple reason: a bomb requires only a token amount of electronics, but plenty of explosives. The above doesn’t contain any explosives and a ridiculous amount of electronics. And one thing more: When I said “Bomb doesn’t beep”, that’s the absolute clue that given device isn’t a bomb. Because making a bomb is trivial: you take an alarm clock, just like Ahmed’s, you disconnect the beeper and you connect a primer in its place. You put the primer in the explosives. The end. So if Ahmed’s case was a real bomb, it would go off exactly at the moment when it beeped. Since it beeped instead, that was the clear proof it’s not a bomb.

          2. Ok, I was wrong. But Im not an expert on bombs, and neither was the teacher. Better safe than sorry. If the cops are wrong, kid spends a few hours in jail. Big deal. If the cops are right, then people die.

          3. And yet you claimed one was a real bomb. If “better safe than sorry” is your mantra, perhaps it might be “safer” to stop claiming non-bombs are bombs. You’re the perfect example of what is wrong with the conspiracy nuts. You don’t have proof or logic on your side, you just make wild baseless claims (read lies) and try to trick people into believing your fear mongering.

          4. Do you seriously think that English teacher was capable of going through
            all of that logic after being confronted with this device. Hardly!! What may be
            obvious to me and thee is not obvious to all.

            Shucks, I was taking things apart to see how they worked at age seven.
            This sometimes brought down the wrath of Mom and Dad. But I was always careful to put them back together as I found them. At age 8 I bought my first multimeter, crude by present day standards. That would be in 1941.
            After WWII I bought military surplus stuff, mostly associated with telephones.
            At age 12 I built my first vacuum tube radio, following instructions in
            a hobbyist magazine. At age 13 I built an AM transmitter that really worked.
            I drove my parents whacky by speaking into a telephone and making my voice
            come out of their cherished radio. All in violation of laws, of course.

            My cherished old Ford spark coil was the source of a lot of fun.
            Yes I got stung several times. I learned how to solder. My fingers got blisters.
            I took cells apart to get those carbon electrodes. I out mail holes in old D cells and put vinegar in there in hopes of making them like new.
            I read every book I could find on electricity
            and electronics. The local plumber let me crawl under houses, fetch tools,
            and have the old pieces and parts. I learned how to make siphons.
            Likewise, the town electrician let me follow hi around and so did the telephone technician.

            In the meantime I was into chemistry. My Gilbert chemistry set did have the chemicals I really wanted. A local druggist sold me some really interesting
            stuff. He and my dad were friends, so this was ok. Try doing that now.

            Then came attempts at electroplating at about age 10. Electronics plus
            chemistry. This never worked well because I didn’t understand the
            fundamentals.

            Sure, a lot of us began by taking things apart. But to impress teachers and other kids? Heck no. I just wanted to see what was inside and muse over what
            those mystical parts did.

            Pulling boards out of an old clock and putting them in a metal box with the hot wires on the transformer exposed is not smart.

            Suppose I went to a grocery and bought a jar of peanut butter. Back at home I take the lid off, scoop out the peanut butter with a spoon, and put it in a metal box. Would I take that to school and claim I’d invented peanut butter?

            I seriously wonder whether this boy genius knows the difference between an
            ohm and a capacitor.

          5. Imagine you took a fancy jar, washed the label off, painted it over, attached a decorative paper-mache label saying “Nutella”, gave it a lacquer finish, then filled it with store-bought Nutella. Then went to the Arts&Crafts teacher to show your fancy jar. And later an English teacher, seeing your jar, would call cops on you for bringing poison to school.

            The project was far from impressive – but neat repackaging of electronics is still a fun project for kids. (BTW, someone posted a photo of a dollar-store clock with the same electronics – everything matched, except the LED display was waaay smaller – it seems Ahmed replaced the display with a big one, occupying the whole front of the box, which makes it an interesting, if easy project). I don’t exactly know what advice he sought, but I clearly know what he should have been given; something he was fully allowed not to know and what the teacher should have suggested: to attach the neutral wire to the metal case (it wasn’t grounded).

            This is not a genius project, and Ahmed is not a genius, but this is definitely a project a kid his age, without special talent or knowledge could have made. Not a passionate tinkerer, just a common kid.

          6. Was anyone claiming he built an ACTUAL bomb? If the teacher had believe it was a real bomb, they would have evacuated the school and called a bomb squad … but that never happened.

            He was arrested for making a “hoax bomb.” It would be the same situation if he’d brought an Airsoft gun to school with the orange tip colored in to look like a real gun (and probably require just as much ingenuity).

        2. If you think this looks like a bomb, you’ve never seen a bomb. Explosives require something called “Explosives”, not just wires and circuit boards.

          Or, do you think an open DVD player looks like a bomb too?

      3. The fact that the police overreacted, and the idea that this incident was a contrived one are not mutually exclusive.

      4. You make it sound like he was thrown into a cell and set on fire. Oh wait, thats just what Muslims do to gays!

      5. Odumbo supporting Ahmed is a direct condemnation of the school and the police. Anyone who thinks this was racially motivated needs to answer one simple question:

        If John Smith with blond hair and blue eyes brought a device like that unsolicited (so not an assignment, no science fair going on) to the school Obumbo’s kids go to, and then plugged it in and set if off while sitting right next to Mooesha or Sasha (or whatever the fuck Odumbo’s kids are named) what would happen??

        Um, can anyone say secret service take down, and a lot rougher than just being put in cuffs?

        So that would happen if Odumbo’s kids were around, and anyone who thinks it would not is an idiot, yet when the school reacts to protect the safety of the kids there, Odumbo thinks they overreacted? I guess his kids are more important than yours, or mine? Fuck him

        1. You raise an interesting question. It’s too bad your name calling and profanity make it read more like a seventh grade rent and unworthy of serious response.

        2. Odumbo? Really? Are you in elementary school? Shame on you for using such bad words on a family friendly site.

          1. He should be called worse than that. He has showed time and time again he would rather support criminals and lairs than the citizens of this country.

    4. Thomas you are absolutely incorrect about Ahmed’s father. The person who owns “twin towers transportation” is named Aldean Mohamed. Ahmed’s father’s name is Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed. These are not the same people. Ahmed does have an uncle with the first name of Aldean, but as far as I can see nobody has confirmed that it is the same person who owns this trucking company.

      I was able to verify this with literally two minutes of research, Thomas. you are putting information out there accusing this kid of knowingly creating a hoax. You cannot prove any of this, and I really believe that you are seeing things through the filter of your own politics and distorting them, consciously or unconsciously. Since you are a research scientist at USC, my expectation would be that you would be more cautious and careful to validate information before you spread it. Everything that you have posted on YouTube, including some of your remarks about the construction of the clock, is speculation; yet, you are presenting it as if it is objective truth. Correlation is not causation is the mantra of the scientific minds I know. I am sure that you are better than this, and you are letting your political agenda drive your conclusions. You are encouraging and inspiring some pretty vile and frightening comments. I appeal to your professional integrity as a scientist to stop presenting your speculations and assertions of motivation as fact.

      1. Okay, That’s some good research Kat and a fair point. His father owns a taxi company and this offensively named company is in the name of his Uncle. I’m not sure this really changes anything.
        Thank you for the correction. I’m not afraid to change when presented with contrary evidence.

        1. Thomas, again inaccurate speculation presented as truth. Please do your due diligence and research. I was just able to find this information about the “twin towers transportation company”. Guess what? They are in an office complex that is called “twin towers” in Texas, according to the blog ibloga.blogspot.com, who writes: “QUALIFICATION: If you enter the address of the Twin Towers Transportation Corporation into Google
          Maps, you will get a photograph from street level of the location.

          It appears the “Transportation Corporation” is in one of two buildings of Executive Suites called “Twin Towers”.

          So they named their company, at least in part, for the buildings in which they are located.”

          There is also a restaurant right by that location as well called “Twin Towers Café”.

        2. Well, well, well Thomas Talbot…it seems the wheels are coming off of your accusations.

          When will you post an apology to Ahmed, as boldly as you have tried to slander him?

          1. You are such an asshole. How many people slap you on a daily basis? Whatever that number is, it’s too damn low. You are an irritant to no end.

          2. Mmm…slapping where though. Depends. I am kind of kinky and might like it.

            However, it doesn’t excuse Mr. Thomas Talbot for finding an innocent person on the internet, and creating a story about that person being an ‘Islamic political stuntman’, and claiming that that innocent person he randomly found in the internet to fit the purposeful narrative to slander an unrelated 14 year old boy and his family.

            Rather than defend the lie, encourage Thomas Talbot to tell the truth.

        3. There are Twin Towers all over the world, including IRVING (not Irvine, next time don’t be so lazy in faking an SOS filing), and Santa Monica.

    5. Dear Mr. Talbot.

      It would be nice if you would acknowledge that you made a mistake in your claim that Ahmed Muhammad’s family owns a company called ‘Twin Towers’, and that the unrelated Muhammad named his cab company after the building it is located in.

      That claim you have posted on a right wing website called Brietbart is full of major errors that have been debunked, and you know about now.

      It would be nice if we could say that you made a mistake about this, rather than being malicious.

      Thank you Mr. Talbot.

    6. Thomas, I would like to correct a few things that you mentioned in your post. First the “Twin Towers Transportation” is registered to a man named Aldean Mohammed. That is not his father. He does apparently(need source) have an uncle named Aldean, but there is no evidence to show that his uncle owns the company. Even if he did own the company, the “Twin Towers Transportation” name is not referring to the “World Trade Center Towers”. It is likely referring to the “Twin Towers” in Dallas Texas. If it was named “World Trade Center Transportation” then we have a different story. Irving, Texas is right next to Dallas,Texas. Do a google search and you can even find other businesses with reference to the “Twin Towers”, like a “Twin Towers” coffee shop. Believe it or not there is not only one set of so called “Twin Towers” in the United States. I live in Peoria, IL, and we also have some “Twin Towers” downtown. Go ahead, google is your friend. Also, naming businesses after popular buildings and landmarks is very common. Now to Ahmed….It is true that he did not “invent” the clock. Did you epect him to design the pcb in CAD, etch the pcb, populate the pcb, then solder everything together and program it? No, of course not. He did “make” that clock though! He repurposed an old clock into something new. This is what being a maker is all about! We have to start somewhere. He is ahead of me at his age! I wouldn’t have been able to take it apart and “successfully” put it into something new at 14. Remember, he is a kid, and to a starting “maker” that is an awesome accomplishment! He even added functionality! It can now be opened and closed like a laptop! That’s awesome in my opinion. I think that some people just lack the “imagination” of a young new maker, and for that i am sorry. “Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Einstein

      1. First, your whole post doesn’t prove that the kid was a victim of islamoblahblah. That kid removed a case and put the clock in a more dramatic one. In my opinion he knew what he was doing and he wanted to trigger the arrest in order to push the islamovictimism for political reasons (probably).

        Second, from the point of view of the officers, it is illegal to build something that looks as a bomb, so they detained him in order to clarify if he built an hoax bomb. After that, they released him. I don’t see any trace of islamophobia.

        And third, he was invited to the White House (and has a lot of free shit) because he is a muslim, he wouldn’t have any of that if he was white.

      2. The existence of twin towers in Dallas does not disprove the idea that his father is a provocateur. And if the kid had programmed an Arduino connected to a display, I would say he built a clock. He did not build a clock; he repackaged one.

        I’ve been reading you for a while. I don’t think I have ever seen a project on your site as simplistic as this one. I view your decision to publish this article to be political, not makerish (for lack of a better term).

        Please, stick to the cool projects. You’re good at that.

      3. Please let me correct you. The address given for Twin Towers Transportation Corporation is 2625 Castle Street Irving, Texas 75038-5807. That just so happens to be Little Ahmed’s home address.

        Company Name: TWIN TOWERS TRANSPORTATION CORPORATION
        File Number: 0802054544
        Filing State: Texas (TX)
        Filing Status: Active
        Filing Date: August 29, 2014
        Company Age: 1 Year 1 Month
        Registered Agent: Eaz Mohamed
        2625 Castle Street
        Irvine, TX 75038
        Principal Address: 2625 Castle St
        Irving, TX 75038-5807

        The following is also listed at this home address.

        7 Companies Found at this Address
        3G Wireless LLC
        T Wireless LLC
        Afwajj LLC
        Sudanese American Community of North Texas
        Carryex Inc.
        Nova Telecom Inc.
        Sudanese-American Association of North Texas

        13 Officers Found at this Address
        E. Mohamed
        Mohamed Mohamed
        Ali Mohamed
        Eaz Mohemd
        Mohamed Elhassan Mohamad
        Awatif Mohamed
        Aldean Mohamed
        Mohamed Elhassan Mohamead
        Eaz Mohamed
        All Mohamed
        Elhassan Mohamed
        Eltyieb Mohamed
        Emtyieb Mokram

        Now, there is, indeed, a Twin Towers located at 8585 North Stemmons Freeway Dallas, Texas 75247. Yes, it is not far from Irving. While I finally found one single business entry for the business in question at this location, a search of that address did not reveal Twin Towers Transportation, nor any of it’s officers there. Suspicious. Further suspicion arises as one Aldean Mohamed
        is connected to some many businesses and non-profits that it appears there maybe some other sorts of illegal impropriety afoot.
        At a minimum, I see a possible tax evasion scam in play.

        Irving, Texas

        VICE PRESIDENT at
        Alsufi, Inc.

        VICE PRESIDENT at
        4CONSTRUCTION Inc.

        VICE PRESIDENT at
        Dfw Wireless Inc.

        PRESIDENT at
        Alsufi Center Inc.

        Aldean Mohamed

        Irving, Texas

        PRESIDENT at
        Sudanese American Community of North Texas

        Director at
        Carryex Inc.

        Mohamed Aldean

        Dallas, Texas

        Director at
        Addtopup.Com Inc

        So all of this aside, and we will take it from your ascertain of the business name being attached to a building in Irving, Texas, does this guy not see how insensitive for a moslem to name his company Twin Towers anything? For those of us that were lucid enough to witness this attack on our Nation by moslems who wanted to kill as many of innocent Americans as possible, it goes way beyond being insensitive. How well would a White guy owning a restaurant in the St Louis area called Michael Brown’s Chicken Shack or Trayvon’s Skittles Emporium be received?

    7. Well said. Interesting. Glad you posted this. Will be interesting to see where it all goes. Looks like the kid is more into religion than science. He’s already thanked Allah in his tweets for receiving gifts of white house trips and so on.

    8. Please tell us oh wise one, if the school or police thought this was a bomb, why was the school not evacuated? Why was the supposed bomb transported without protection in a vehicle through the streets? Why did they wait in the school with the “bomb” in the same room as them? Do any of these things happen when a bomb threat is called it? One with any intelligence would think wow if they do it for a call they should do it and MORE for an something PRESENT they think is an actual bomb! But no one did anything of the sort, not even a simple fire alarm was pulled.

      You’re right about one thing, there was an agenda, one the school had and used the police for. As far as I am concerned the police were just placating the school administration who is the REAL culprit and REAL problem in this entire story.

        1. Depends on who you mean by they. The police did their job as they have to do, the school is the one who over reacted by calling the police in the first place. The police, once called are mandated in the steps they must follow basically for safety and to cover their butts.

          His first teacher who examined it knew what it was, all the school had to do was to ASK THAT TEACHER, NOTHING MORE. But just the fact that the school took him and the clock into the office and had it there the entire time, they and the police knew it was not a bomb, and in knowing from the start it is not a bomb, destroys the idea that it is a bomb hoax. That would be required by law the INTENT the kid had, which is hard to say since the first teacher he took it too he knew would know its a clock. A bomb hoax more than likely never came into the kids mind, as that just makes zero sense except the the conspiracy nuts and bigots.. But since the school called in a bomb, the police again were mandated in the steps they took.

          1. ” all the school had to do was to ASK THAT TEACHER, NOTHING MORE”

            The second teacher who reported the device was not aware that the first teacher had seen it already, because Ahmed didn’t divulge that information.

            And according to policy, the first teacher should have already report it, because the clock had the distinct appearance of a fake bomb.

            Ahmed simply went around shopping for a reaction, and when the first teacher didn’t react he set the alarm to go off on the second teacher and got what he wanted.

      1. The school was not evacuated because in Texas it is illegal to have real bombs and “hoax bombs”.

        It’s clear that it wasn’t a real bomb. What is not clear is whether or not this clock invention with exposed wires was intended as a hoax to provoke a response when it was shown to half a dozen teachers.

        1. So they wouldn’t evacuate the school if it were a real bomb because real bombs are illegal??????? Yeah that makes NO SENSE AT ALL.

          It is perfectly clear to anyone with half a brain there was no intent for a hoax bomb.

          SERIOUSLY think about it.. If you were going to make a hoax bomb to take to school, would it make any sense that the first person you show it to is a teacher who would possibly be the ONLY one on school grounds that could absolutely tell what it is as in an engineering teacher? Do you really think people are THAT stupid? If you were trying to make a fake illegal drug to get high on, would the first person you take it to be a pharmacy or chemistry teacher, or a drug dealer or a stupid user that is desperate to get high? He took it first to the one person who WOULD KNOW, and be PROUD of what he had done, and he was. He didn’t take it to the ones who acted like the drug user excited to get high by reporting a muslim kid with a hoax bomb.

          1. Are you really this dense, or are you being purposely obtuse? His post was poorly worded, but it’s gist is correct. A determination had to be made if it was a bomb…they did, no school evacuation, no bomb squad. Then they needed to determine if it was a hoax bomb, less clear, they detained and investigated the suspect. When it was determined to be nothing, they released him. I’m not sure what is difficult to understand here other than why you would think Muslim children are exempt from being the subject of the same sensible precautions anyone else would be?

          2. Since another more educated in the filed teacher had already seen the device, yes I am saying the english teacher overreacted period.

            As far as “Muslim children are exempt from being the subject of the same sensible precautions anyone else would be” show me one non Muslim kid that has gone through this. Please, I’d like to see one, just ONE.

            And of course with no other answer, you also spew personal attacks. For those with no answers, it seems to be what they do.

          3. Wrong… it takes one teacher to issue the idea of a complaint in order to get a response. You can’t assume that because 1 teacher saw the clock, all the other teachers knew about it?

            Then you have the issue of no tolerance in schools. I’ve already responded to you but you trying to think logically about a system that shows no common sense day in and day out.

            This isn’t about islamaphobia. This is about the no tolerance policy. If people are upset, that is what they should be upset about.

          4. I guess you missed the part where I said, “all they had to do was to ask the first teacher, the one who WOULD KNOW and DID KNOW.”

            I agree with the no tolerance problem, but this was pointed at a Muslim kid and only BECAUSE he was Muslim. Notice, they only arrested the ONE kid. Why no arrest for the “hoax gun”?

            IMHO its about BOTH, not one or the other.

          5. Really? Did you really ask me the above questions? Are you so blinded by your desire to meet some narrative you put absolutely no thought into the stupid responses you provided.

            You must have missed the part where Ahmed was not cooperative with the police officers to even provide such information.

            You must have also missed the part that what he brought to school was not authorized by his engineering teacher and said teacher asked him to put the “clock” away for the rest of the day.

            Muslim had nothing to with it. Dolt.

            Regarding the kid with the hoax gun – 1) he was 7 years old. 2) he was white (not that it matters but clearly to idiots like you, race does matter). 3) the hoax gun was made of an edible poptart. 4) the child was suspended and the suspension is as of 2014? still on his record.

            If everyone would chill out and let cooler heads prevail, then and only then we might get the real details.

          6. I see, cannot answer things, only fling personal attacks. That is usually done by someone who themselves have no idea..

          7. Actually, the first techer should have reported the device according to the school policy, but he didn’t.

            The second teacher was not aware that the first teacher had seen the device, and Ahmed didn’t say anything to indicate so.

            Ahmed clearly went around “shopping” for reaction, and when the first teacher didn’t react, he set the alarm to go off on the second teacher and got caught intentionally. Why else would he have kept the device powered up in class?

          8. And it was OBVIOUSLY made to LOOK LIKE A BOMB, and thus no comparison. Comparing a “clock” strapped to several tubes looking like dynamite and trying to take it onboard a plane instead of a clock made to show his teacher is not a comparison at all.

          9. And what’s your opinion of the fact that now we know his sister was suspended for phoning in a bomb threat? Hmm?

          10. Hey this is the same school system that suspended a 7 year old boy for eating his poptart into the shape of a gun. It’s called no tolerance. You don’t like it, file your complaint with the school administration. No tolerance = no common sense.

          11. Clear to anyone that it wasn’t a hoax bomb? Funny, just on a whim I did a Google image search for DIY clock, and for briefcase bomb. One of those searches had 0 images that looked like an Ahmed “clock” the other search had a 100% rate of looking like this so called clock. Hint: the bombs were a match.

        2. It’s illegal to have hoax bombs, like countdown timers?

          Man, I had better toss out my RadioShack 160-in-One kit if I ever move to Texas. It has a countdown timer as a project.

          1. Hey this is the same school system that suspended a 7 year old boy for eating his poptart into the shape of a gun. It’s called no tolerance. You don’t like it, file your complaint with the school administration.

          2. Yes, it is illegal to make a hoax bomb if you use it to try to scare people. Just like Ahmed’s sister tried to scare people by calling a bomb threat into school 3 years ago.

          3. Oh, Ahmed tried to scare people with it? This is news to me. Your source?

            Same with the bomb threat his sister purportedly called in. kthnx.

      2. Odumbo supporting Ahmed is a direct condemnation of the school and the police. Anyone who thinks this was racially motivated needs to answer one simple question:

        If John Smith with blond hair and blue eyes brought a device like that unsolicited (so not an assignment, no science fair going on) to the school Obumbo’s kids go to, and then plugged it in and set if off while sitting right next to Mooesha or Sasha (or whatever the fuck Odumbo’s kids are named) what would happen??

        Um, can anyone say secret service take down, and a lot rougher than just being put in cuffs?

        So that would happen if Odumbo’s kids were around, and anyone who thinks it would not is an idiot, yet when the school reacts to protect the safety of the kids there, Odumbo thinks they overreacted? I guess his kids are more important than yours, or mine? Fuck him

        1. Right, and according to the GOP (Faux Nooze) it was Obama’s fault for the overreaction. So which is it????

          BTW you’re name calling of Obama makes you look like you are younger than the teen in this story. You might want to grow up and be an adult and all, unless you aren’t…..

    9. That has been debunked, even the SOS filing states IRVINE – not IRVING Texas and the address on Castle St is a RESIDENCE. WOW. So many trolls that HATE this kid, are going to great lengths to destroy him. Why?

    10. Making a “hoax” device implies deliberately misleading people into thinking it IS what it isn’t.
      IE, telling them it’s a bomb. Proudly showing your teacher “look I made a clock” is not a hoax bomb. It’s a kid being proud of what he did.
      If the teacher was suspicious he should have bloody well asked the kid, “Why does it look like a bomb?” and the kid could say “Oh, I didn’t realise, sorry. I will take it away and not bring such things in again” and that would be the end of it.
      Waiting till the kid has left then calling the police on a suspected bomb? Bloody stupid behavior and a serious failing in the education system. They had a chance right at the start to iron out any misconception but instead chose to be paranoid, suspicious and possibly racist. Nice.

  9. It’s not about what was made or how it was made or if it’s worthy of anything. It’s about our children and their education and the relationship between the students and their mentors. Do our teachers even know the people they are teaching? Can’t they tell the intentions of their pupils. Are we afraid of our own children?

    1. My son, when he was 14, would go through alleys and find electronic things like clocks, lamps, vacuum cleaners and so on to fix.

      One day, he had to go to the emergency room because he touched a capacitor of an old microwave oven while taking it apart.

      Does that make us bad parents for letting him drag in stray electronics and try to fix them? Does it make us bad mentors for encouraging that behavior? Does that mean we don’t know my son?

      Am I afraid of my child?

      When he got finished with his hospital stay, he returned to that microwave, lesson learned, and fixed it.

      Should he have stopped tinkering with things like that because ‘it was dangerous’ to explore the world?

      1. Terrorism!

        /s

        Seriously, though, I’m reminded of a certain German political party that decided Albert Einstein wasn’t the right kind of scientist and lost the technology to build the atomic bomb because of it…

        Be careful of microwave tinkering! There are materials in there that are crazy toxic. You should be very proud of your boy.

        1. What the hell are you saying? Asians cant take apart microwave ovens because they aren’t the ‘right kind’ of people?
          What the fuck is this…are you out of your freeking mind?

          1. Idiot. Get some glasses or put the bottle down. She was being racist FOR Asians, not against them. Go home, you’re drunk.

          1. LOL! No worries. I still like you.

            Asians can certainly make microwaves, I don’t know why they wouldn’t be able to take them apart…

            I think it’s great that you let your son take apart a microwave, but if anyone else is interested, the real hazard is the pink beryllium insulators. They’re fine if you don’t break them, but if you do break them, they’ll smash into a zillion pieces, go into your lungs and cause all kinds of problems.

            I’m assuming that didn’t happen with your son. A little shock was probably good for him. ;)

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zev8Ws4P1Y

      2. I would say you are responsible for his injury. Then whether or not that makes you bad parents is another matter which not many can be fit to comment on. But you should know that you just doesn’t give a teen any electronics and let him take it apart (like a microwave oven).

          1. I know you think you are making an argument now but you aren’t. These are two completely different instances. When your son is out on his bike the only precaution you can take is making certain requirements of him and warn him of dangers. But things might still happen, and that’s the world we live in. But most people know that there is a difference between electronics and electronics and that some are more dangerous than others. I would say it’s your responsibility to read up on microwave ovens before you let him take it apart like that. Lamps and clocks and so on are a different matter.

          2. So it is my fault for not knowing enough about microwave ovens to let him tinker with it?

            I don’t know much about bikes, or cars either. Should I not let him ride, or drive until I learn everything about bikes and cars?

          3. My argument was simply that most people know that microwave ovens contain toxic materials and dangerous things without knowing much about microwave ovens. I am not sure why you are so stuck with your bike/car argument, you don’t need to know much about bikes or cars to know that it’s dangerous to get hit by a car. An argument that would be more similar to this situation would be if your child took home a stray dog and you just assumed that animal wasn’t dangerous. Which I am saying is a dangerous thing to do….

          4. Maybe you should teach him how to make straw man arguments. It seems to be the only thing you’re proficient at.

          5. Yes, it is your fault for not researching microwave ovens before letting him tinker with it. Microwaves are actually extremely dangerous devices.

          6. Well, you and I both live in different world views. While to you everything is something to fear, and to be suspicious of, my world view is to use your senses to justify your reasoning.

            Now that my son understands not to touch the capacitors without taking precautions…the hard way, we have taught him to gravitate toward people who encourage learning, tinkering, reverse engineering and so on…and together they learn the cautions of enjoying their passion, including proudly sharing their work with each other, their teachers and so on and not about the bigotry, racism, distain and hate,

            I am proud that that 14 year old who went to the emergency room for touching that capacitor is now a person in uniform actively defending the United States.

            So…ya…I take the blame.

          7. Nice, you did a good job overall. I’m just saying letting your child play with a microwave knowingly was dangerous, and as the parent is your responsibility. I thought that’s what this particular thread was discussing? Your exact question was “So it is my fault for not knowing enough about microwave ovens to let him tinker with it?” The answer to that question is yes. No worries, I’ve made mistakes too. Thanks to your son for his service.

          8. That is what moms do. They teach kids within the perview of their knowledge not to stick fingers in light sockets as ‘bravery’ or having an assault rifle and buckets of ammo to prove manhood, and still let the child plug in their computers, and ‘inventions’ when they are inquisitive, innovative, and seeking knowledge.

      3. When I was 13 or 14, my father asked me to go up on a ladder and cut an electric line to remove an old light fixture. I saw him remove the fuse before he did this. But it was an old house, and the wiring was faulty, and when I cut the line, I got jolted by 120 volts of pure American Freedom. It threw me right off the ladder. Had my father not been standing behind me on the ladder I’m sure I would have cracked my head open. I could have died.

        Was he responsible for this? Damn right he was. Because he was the parent, and I was the child. But we both learned a lot about electricity that day, and it’s served us well ever since.

        Sometimes you have to be responsible for causing your kids to go through hard or dangerous things. Sometimes they get hurt. Sometimes you’ll know they might get hurt beforehand, and sometimes, even when you try incredibly hard to keep them safe, you fail. That does not make you a bad parent. These decisions are not black and white. We ALL learn from mistakes like these.

        1. One time my brother was fixing a cooler on top of our house. He told me to take out the fuse (then they were these round things you screwed into a socket to complete a circuit) associated with the cooler. I didn’t understand which fuses went where, so I took them all out.

          When my grandmother asked when he was going to be done because the power was out, my brother screamed at me, blaming me, and my mother asked him why he allowed a girl (yes, traditional Chinese family) do men’s work.

          She told me that girls don’t do this kind of work. She told me to give the fuses to my brother, and sit in the house…and that is what I did.
          My brother fell off the roof and on his back. He had been electrocuted. It is good that China uses 220V because the shock knocked him off the roof. My brother had to go to the hospital mostly because his fingers were burned.

          My grandmother, not understanding what fuses do, blamed me again. My grandfather asked what did I do, and I told him I took all of the fuses out because I didn’t understand which one went to the cooler.

          He told her that had we left the fuses out, he wouldn’t have gotten shocked…and from then on, my grandmother let me tinker.

        2. Your article is absurd. I’m not a “maker” and have never heard the term or let alone about your magazine before but it’s patently (no pun intended) obvious that you of all people should be indignant about this kid’s blatant fraud. Instead, cutting him slack as you have and pretending that he’s hereby earned his heralded reception into the world of creators and inventors, is perverse. You, sir, don’t deserve your own position of leadership here. You should apologize and resign. Don’t worry, maybe Ahmed can find you a position as a publicist at Mohammed Industries.

  10. So let’s ignore everything but what he did – placed an old commercial clock in a case. By amping up this kids ego with all the attention and making a celebrity out of literally nothing you’ve pretty much guaranteed the kid will have a difficult time of living up to the hype. With so many talented and ingenious kids doing far more sophisticated projects how do you justify holding this kid up so high for so little? Yes – I am saying he did absolutely nothing of note. A first grader assembling a Lego project shows more creativity. This is a tangible manifestation of reductio ad absurdum.

      1. I was staying away from the elephant in the room. All that does is get people arguing about racism and other nonsense they use to beg the question.

  11. His “project” was actually very dangerous. He removed all the safety coverings from a high voltage alarm clock. It could have easily caught fire or electrocuted someone. The interesting thing is MAKE seems to want to avoid even CONSIDERING that this kid could be an instrument of political operative

    1. It would be safer to learn electronics by starting with a class or club and one could learn more in a given amount of time. Unfortunately too few schools have them. Hopefully this will start to change.
      If he was involved in something nefarious he more likely would have avoided drawing attention to himself. Taking a project to show his teacher is kind of like a kid saying, “look at what I did. What do you think.”

  12. This is not the first time Make has reported on a home-made device being mistaken for a bomb.

    People need to learn what bombs actually look like. If something does not contain explosives, or even space for explosives, then it’s clearly not a bomb.

    1. Could the explosives been attached to the case behind the display? Huh, what’s that? Oh, they could have? Oh, so it *could* have been a bomb.

  13. Thank you. That’s absolutely the correct response. Taking something apart then putting back together in such a way that it still works is an exhilarating experience for a young maker-to-be. The value of this sort of project should not be minimized.

      1. Amused?
        It seems the kid was already more advanced than some of the adults who become involved. He recognized the fact that he had a clock. There is value in taking things apart and looking in.

        1. djsurrey, you can ask me for a glass of cola, and I can bring you one. I happen to buy the cheapest, most foul tasting cola available. I go into the kitchen and pour your drink. I’m out of your sight for a moment, and I return with your cola. Upon tasting the cola I poured for you, it is so bad, so “off” tasting, you might wonder if I did something to that cola. “There is something wrong with that cola,” you might think, and wonder if something nefarious is afoot.

          It doesn’t make me more “advanced” than you just because I poured the soda.

  14. Three points about this topic:
    1. I do believe handcuffing and arresting a 14 year old for this is not ok. There was an assumption that was incorrect and this was an overreaction.
    2. You can thank Obama for his DHS “See Something, Say Something” program where teachers “Saw Something” and “Said Something”. Are people now not supposed to “Say Something” if they “See Something”?!?!?!
    3. Now realistically since this has become such a hot topic, we need to be completely intellectually honest with ourselves. Especially the reporters on this topic! Its fairly clear that Ahmed did not “invent” or “make” this clock as he claims to have, and the propaganda news outlets keep feeding this to the masses. The clock is a commercial, off the shelf clock that he took apart and placed the components inside of a pencil case. See here for the same type of “invention” that was “made” in 20 seconds: http://www.videoup.net/v/el960f295-ahmed-mohammad-s-clock-reproduced-in-twenty-seconds-the-media/

    Now would I criticize Ahmed for not “inventing” this as he has claimed? No, I would support him and probably say something like “thats cool, show me how it works”

    @Rafe Needleman if you really are still confident about Ahmed’s claim that he “invented” or “made” this clock. I would expect you to ask him to detail exactly how he “made” it this weekend when you meet him at the Makers Fair New York and present that as an article that we can all learn from.

    Please detail something more than:
    1. Remove guts from off the shelf clock
    2. Put clock parts inside of pencil case

  15. You forgot to mention that he refused to give straight answers to the officers and that his father has a history of creating spectacles to promote Islam. No, I won’t drop a link. Look it up for yourselves and use your time for the purpose of discovering facts even though it hinders the self satisfaction you get from reacting to the manufactured social justice outrage of the week.

    1. Actually, the police claimed that he was not ‘forthcoming about the device’ in his answers. Not sure how much more ‘forthcoming’ you can be about a clock.

      So…do you have anything more ‘forthcoming’ than, it is a clock, it measures time?

      He also asked for his parents, and the police refused to let him get in touch with them.

      1. Clocks are enclosed in plastic and don’t have wires hanging from them. Homemade bombs do, however, and sometimes require an explanation deeper than “its just a clock ” these days. It sucks, but that’s how it is. This kid was not a victim of any sort of racism no matter how much social justice warriors try to elevate him as one to further the perception that police are out to get minorities. The kids father is in the grievance spectacle industry, so I’m pretty sure folks are getting balloon boyer again. Not that it matters to them, because in return for expressing outrage over this non matter, they get the shallow self satisfaction of proclaiming the awfulness of how minorities constantly catch the wrong end of treatment in America until the next bs social justice outrage comes up next week.

        1. What other explanation would you have given as a 14 year old boy, handcuffed, surrounded by police officers accusing you of making a bomb about a clock.

          Please narrate that for us.

          Not biting on the ‘father’ thing. You can save the pixels in any further response to me because I will ignore it.

        2. I am wearing a clock that’s enclosed in metal and glass. I have one in my garden that is made of iron and cement. The one on my desk has wires and circuit boards inside it. You should learn more about clocks.

  16. Here’s the exact commercial digital alarm clock (mid 80s Tandy/Radio Shack) he disassembled to move into a small briefcase-looking pencil case to make a portable _AC_ (not battery) powered clock for some strange reason or use. Did anyone bother to ask him about his intended purpose for this clock? If he gave or could give a plausible answer, I’d be less skeptical.:

    Reverse Engineering Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock…

    http://blogs.artvoice.com/techvoice/2015/09/17/reverse-engineering-ahmed-mohameds-clock-and-ourselves/

    Suspicious facts:

    – exterior appearance of the case (miniature briefcase)
    – components simply moved from a known commercial clock, put together in such a way that the main purpose of the clock (showing time) is defeated
    – beeper going off during an unrelated (nontechnical) class
    – advice to not show the clock around given by the 1st teacher he showed it to, referred to as his engineering teacher, disregarded by the boy
    – Ahmed’s statement to the effect that he tied a string on the case lock because the contents “might look suspicious”
    – Refused to give straight answers to school and police

    IMO, an intentional stunt to garner exactly the sort of pathologically PC, typical knee-jerk Internet reaction it did.

    http://i.imgur.com/l35eOVB.jpg

    https://twitter.com/istandwithahmed/status/644179809170509824

    1. Try this. The police that interrogated him let him go. So why are you still skeptical?

      – he found a box that fit

      – a young person with an interest in electronics has to start someplace. Did you read the story you are commenting on or just going to different sites and posting the same thing.

      – beeper going off (it happens with clocks and timers -bombs don’t have beepers)

  17. He was trying to be cool by pretending to be smart, which is no crime at 14. It does change the dynamic of the story thou. And makes all the bandwagon jumpers look a little silly.

    1. Apparently you are not a reader. That clip has already been posted and commented on.
      The essential point of the story was that a person has to start someplace.

  18. I am amazed at how idiotic people are. Even educated people can be told a completely BS story and eat it up because it fits their political ideology. First, he did not make anything. It is not difficult to take the case off an old clock and put the internals into another case. You should ask why he chose a case that looks similar to a briefcase and why would he leave wires exposed? Because he wanted to make something that looked like a bomb. Why? Maybe because his father is a political activist and wanted to stir up controversy. Maybe because he thinks like most of the people that support him and wanted to create a situation that fit his belief of racial profiling, or maybe he is just a dumb 14 year old kid like many of us were. I’m sure once the police got involved he realized how stupid is prank was and played the victim even more.

    The most terrifying thing to me is how all of you people who think he is just an innocent kid that made a clock can be so easily fooled and manipulated. Than again look at our last 2 presidents. Stop jumping to conclusions and if you are going to form an opinion without knowing all the facts at least use a little common sense. By the way people like Needlman should stop doubling down on their uninformative based view of a false reality and either shut up or admit they were had, but that would require insightful self reflection and the ability to admit you are wrong.

    1. A large proportion of the public are just so susceptible to propaganda and manipulation. It’s such a scary thing because it totally undermines democracy. You can convince people to vehemently believe absolutely anything no matter the truth and if you show them evidence that contradicts their opinion it changes absolutely nothing.

      It’s a pretty damning indictment on humanity really, the sheer stupidity of people and the worst thing is you can appear smart superficially and be as duped as anyone.

      1. It is very scary. To know that humanity has always been like this and not until the advent of the internet have we been able to see how the truth gets twisted into something far from accurate. To see that history as we know it is probably 20% truth and 80% lies, propaganda, and religious/political bias is a terrifying reality. It makes me wonder if humanity will survive and also how far we could have advanced our species if we valued truth over our false biased views.

    2. What’s even scarier is that the editor-in-chief of Maker magazine uses his job and position to advance his Progressive agenda without identifying himself as such. It’s completely irresponsible and an absolute outrage.

      1. Unfortunately this has always been norm. Every person in a position of power, no matter how smaller, becomes corrupt. It is inevitable. Soon there start to believe that there opinionated view is no longer their opinion, but fact. It’s easier to say “this view validates my opinion so it has to be fact”, instead of taking the time to thoroughly investigate a topic and draw the proper conclusion despite your opinion. No one did that here. Everyone heard a catchy headline and jumped on it to push their opinion. What is scary about this one is that people in the scientific community, are breaking away from the very basic proposition that one should not find evidence to support your theory, but form a theory that supports the evidence. It is almost like the societies of the world are going through a devolution.

  19. Nice backpedaling attempt, MAKE. Sorry, but I’m not buying it. The way you jumped on the victim bandwagon is an embarrassment to you and a disgrace to the REAL world of makers.

    1. Bingo! At the very least they jumped the shark. You’d think these Progressives would have learned caution by now, but we still have morons walking around chanting another complete fabrication “Hand’s up don’t shoot”. Rafe Needleman allowed his Progressive agenda to override his reason, and frankly, his job description. It’s an embarrassment.

        1. I’m aware. Progressives don’t venture out of their echo chambers much at all unless it’s en masse to silence an opinion of which they don’t approve. What’s your point exactly?

  20. Embarrassing. Assuming his family really was proud of that junk he brought to school: are the educators supposed to pretend to be impressed like you pretend you are? At some point a student is really expected to do something before he gets graded. You’ve encouraged losers to go around that process. Panderer.

    1. Wow. Educators have a duty to create an environment conducive to learning. Since we live in a technological society perhaps that should include technology. Electronics is particularly pervasive so perhaps it is important to have educators and programs that foster an understanding of digital electronics.

      1. Yes, an environment conducive to true learning–not instant gratification and not for essentially plagiarizing someone else’s work. Imagine a kid presenting a complex economics solution that he googled for a minute. Well that’s kind of pointless and could mislead the student into believing they can shortcut past learning the first principles.

          1. Partial agreement: his parents should have instructed him to not bring it to school since it was a distraction. His teacher should have also given him that guidance, which was done. When he continued distracting with the device, he got further instruction by school and police. I don’t agree that a student should be immune to intimidation especially when other common sense and cautions had been ignored.

  21. I am not sure what to think about this whole thing. It is plausible that what he actual thought what he made was cool, and that he had no idea it resembled the Hollywood symbol of a bomb. Some 14 year-olds are really that naive. But then its hard to know what he was talking about when he said he had accomplished more difficult builds. Its a little more likely, in my opinion, that he intended his teacher to think he had actually built a clock. Either he was too lazy or un-knowledgeable to build a real clock. Then there is the possibility that he did infact mean to make something provocative, but didn’t really understand the consequences. Or if he is a real genius, he knew exactly what would happen and that he would get all kinds of cool opportunities. But if that was the case, why did he not build a real clock that looked like a bomb, to give the story of his technical prowess more legitimacy. Or he is naive, but someone around him realized the media possibilities. Whatever the case, whether he was aware of it or not, he created a symbolic bomb, and the police were correct in addressing as such.

    1. It was no more the symbol of a bomb in the pencil case than in the original case. It is just electronics either way. If he had filled a bigger box with fireworks he would have something closer to a bomb.

      1. A black case with a jumble of exposed wires and a count-down LED is often used to signify a bomb in movies (because you need a wire to cut, and an indication of when it will explode). Of course real bombs don’t look like that, which is why the cops immediately thought they were dealing with a hoax bomb. I don’t know that Ahmed made that connection, but the cops were right to.

        1. A lot of projects contain wires. Those wires were in the original clock. Being untidy does not turn a clock into a bomb. Only hysteria and unfamiliarity with electronics made it look like anything other than a clock.

          1. But, intentionally or unintentionally, it invokes the symbol of a bomb. Which is why they thought he had a hoax bomb.

          2. The cops didn’t think it looked like a bomb. They thought it looked like something someone would do to make something look like a bomb. I can only imagine its a little confusing to them why someone would mount a clock on the inside of a little black box with wires everywhere and NOT be making a hoax bomb. After awhile the figured out the kid was clueless (or was he?). Good job cops.

          3. That would be just speculation. Unless the kid says look there is a bomb or fills it with something that looks like explosives it is just a clock.

          4. Well, no, not completely. There’s both a clock and a symbol. The boy didn’t make a clock. He arranged a symbol. Basically he arranged an F and a U together and showed them around. Yes, they are just letters, but also a symbol.

          5. That is your speculation. Fact is the kid was released without charges. The police found no evidence that the kid did anything but bring a clock to school.

          6. And there is a metric crap ton of ignorance among many people about bombs. Same with guns. Take a semiautomatic AR-15 out and people think it’s some high-powered machine gun if they don’t know what they are looking at. You do not, as a Muslim person around 9/11, take out something that many might think looks like a bomb.

          7. It is not a hoax bomb unless that was his actual intention. He was not charged even with mischief so apparently there is actually no evidence of a nefarious intention.

          8. He seems to have been flirting with the gray area. It appears intentional since the packaging would have to have been a deep downgrade from the original packaging. You could give him extreme benefit of the doubt, but sometimes it’s better to acknowledge the stink

          9. Hold on. We are talking 80s technology. It is entirely possible the original case was badly damaged, cracked or any number of things could have made it unusable. Putting it in a new case may well have been a fix.

          10. Possible…but it still stinks. If by chance he *needed* to fix the badly damaged clock case and was in the middle of the Sahara then that crappy pile might be a short term solution. This was a leisure project though, not one of desperation

          11. He used what he had or could get his hands on. Also, he appears to be interested in the technology not making an artistic expression. Perhaps he likes having the guts of the clock on display.

          12. he can’t be especially interested, because he didn’t bother to make a clock. A clock kit is like 4 bucks.

          13. Yes, all that. He probably did like having the guts on display because it makes it cool in an edgy kind of way, however school is not the place for fooling around with distracting devices in the gray area of symbolism. Remember, he’d been advised to not show it around, yet he did and even had the alarm go off. He appears to have been trying too hard to draw attention to a gray or forbidden area, so things got official

          14. That is pure speculation. I consider a clock to be a useful device rather than a symbol. I’d put the innards on display so I could discuss the function of the parts with others. Think of a cutaway view technical diagram. I don’t think Ahmed is an artist expressing himself. From what was said it sounds like he has a knack for fixing things.

          15. Yes, a clock is a useful device, but he didn’t make a clock–he made a symbol from a clock and a box.
            We could formulate all sorts of cover stories and prop him up as legendary, but we don’t need to. The legend is crumbling.

          16. You’re pathetic. I’ve read your ridiculous efforts to deny reality and common sense here throughout. The more interesting speculation isn’t about Mohammed but about you – why are you so determined to excuse this little punk who clearly knew what he was doing – after all, as he says, he had been called a bomb-maker before and this time didn’t want to freak anyone out. What a joke!

          17. It isn’t hysteria when dealing with Muslims around 9/11. That is unfortunate for the good Muslims, but something that resembles a bomb + Muslim + week of 9/11 = can’t be too cautious.

          18. Seems they deleted my comment, but regardless, I do not see it as hysteria. Not when there are so many Muslims of the radical kind in existence.

      2. Yes, it was more of a *symbol* of a bomb in the mock briefcase. The original clock housing cleanly displayed the time, the sound, the buttons, and was safe from electrical shorts. The second package (intentionally) sacrificed those important features leaving basically *just* a symbol–the symbol that we know from movies. A symbol that it’s not polished because it isn’t going to last long.

    2. Don’t forget that he was aware of the fact that he’d been called a terrorist and even bomb-maker at school before. He had that on his mind 1,000 percent

  22. Wow. It must be nice to be so naive. Or maybe the publicity is making you look the other way but this was a HOAX.

  23. this kids family is made up of publicity whores his uncle owns a company called twin towers transportation and his father ran for president of sudan while living in texas and now he sent his kid to school with this hollywood style bomb in a brief case looking thing during the week of 9/11 and a lot of you people still think this kid is innocent?

    after showing his engineering teacher the device and was told not to show anyone else because it looks suspicious this kid went to another class and plugged it in to a wall socket and waited for the alarm to go off. when the alarm went off and the teacher asked him what the device was and he didnt answer. the teacher would have assumed this is a bomb prank and told the principal who then called the police. the kid knew it was suspicious he admitted it in the dallas morning news interview and said that was why he used a cable to close it instead of the lock the box already has.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=16&v=3mW4w0Y1OXE

    also all of his inventions that he shows in this are just circut boards and wires hes taken out of their cases.

  24. I disagree that pointing out that he did not build a clock is “insidious.” The kid is getting offers from elite entities like M.I.T., NASA, Facebook, Google, etc…along with scholarships, then, his clock is open to discussion. He claims he “made” the clock. Yet all he did was to take the guts out of an existing manufactured clock. So he didn’t do anything requiring any real intelligence.

    Where the argument would be insidious would be if he was just some random kid who said, “Look at my clock,” and some people got overzealous in the analysis. But when he’s being hailed as some genius and prodigy and getting all these offers, that opens his clock up to criticism.

    1. Instead of chucking an old clock from the 80’s he got it working and then placed it in a new case. Reusing something old is good (except the old power supply is lossy rather than energy star — a mentor could point that out).
      It is the news media that made it sound like he did something astounding but they can be like that.

    2. The overreaction from the institutions of the left is an embarrassment, and utterly unfair to kids who actually, you know, have real talent. A 14 yr old child should be well past the age of receiving accolades for transferring parts from one box, to the other.

      1. “Institutions of the left”?
        MIT, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter… these are high tech firms and institutions who promote STEM education.
        By the way google maps, the google search engine, Android operating system… are all great innovations. Perhaps it is time to listen.

    1. That one was a clock board strapped to what looked like sticks of dynamite.
      Now that looks like a fake bomb. He got charged with mischief.

  25. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted arguing with wingnuts on this issue. I kinda lost my mind to tell you the truth. So happy to see Make step forward as a much-needed voice of reason.

  26. What about the fact that the English teacher said the clock beeped during class? There is no back-up battery there. This means he plugged it in during class and set the alarm to go off during class. What was his purpose for doing that?

    1. eg-freekn-xactly. Did he just want to be seen as the kid who can build cool shit in mysteries technical looking boxes that beep? maybe..maybe not. I really hope we find out someday.

    2. His purpose was to get the result he got.

      It is utterly ridiculous. There are scores of people who can’t think, and a lot of them are in charge of things.

    1. It what was done to him that set up the twitter storm. Now he is famous like Harry Potter – the boy that lived.

  27. Yes we all start somewhere, but lavishing praise on this kid for claiming someone else’s work as his own is like an English teacher praising a student for scratching Tom Clancy’s name off the cover of a book, scribbling his own name on it, and presenting it to his instructor as his first novel.

    The issue here isn’t about it being a first project – it’s about technical and scientific integrity and not rewarding intellectual dishonesty with unearned praise, celebrity, sympathy and donations.

    1. Actually if you take a closer look the story goes like this. A grade nine kid was intimidated and mistreated by authorities to the point it set off a social media storm. Then some of the most successful tech people in America and beyond reached out to encourage the kid because they all have faced obstacles. These leaders of places like Google and MIT professors have invited Ahmed to outreach events designed to promote STEM education and the public is hearing about of because if the recent interest in Ahmed’s story.

      Absolutely unexpected. If it was fiction no one would believe the story.

  28. So what was that clock designed to do anyway, countdown to zero? There are kids who are doing actual original work, and they don’t get noticed at this level. He got special treatment because he is Muslim, and has a father who can work media and plot and plan.

    You made a very bad choice attaching to this. He brought a fake bomb to school. White kids have been expelled for much, much less.

    1. It was just an alarm clock.
      The police found no evidence that is was intended to be a fake bomb or he would be facing charges. Had he been guilty of anything his parents would have avoided going public.

      1. Are you serious, sounds like a talking point…or you’re one of the most gullible uninformed people on the planet.

        Life is going on around you, pay attention.

          1. Yes, they would. Don’t be silly. We had the director of NASA tell us the primary goal of his organization was “muslim outreach”. Spare us your disingenuous naivete please.

      2. Right, like when Ahmed’s sister was suspended for the bomb threat? C’mon, you guys had to be feeling like the other shoe was gonna drop any minute by now. I think it’s been clear for awhile now that “innocent little Ahmed” was a farce.

  29. To confuse and misdirect — another CIA psychological operation. If Ahmed Mohamed were white, he would have been tasered and framed — similar to the Boston Marathon fake bombers.

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  31. In a world where backpacks are suspect (re: Boston Marathon) I think this “innocent” Hollywood looking iconic bomb, err makeshift clock, would definitely be cause for concern! FTW

  32. Can someone point me to a description of the actual clock? The only detail I see notes the “main board.” So, what is this main board? Did he take a board out of a clock and simply connect it to a big display? Was the sound already on the board?

    1. The details have not yet been provided so in the absence of real information there has been much speculation. The display was not that big. It fit in an 8 inch case.

      1. I think that is just speculation. How could one tell from a photo if the parts all came from the same clock? I have certainly used parts from more than one dead device to cobble together a working unit.

        1. Go to the Goodwill and buy one and take it apart, and it will look almost EXACTLY like this.

          I took apart bedside LED clocks as a kid and I saw the photo and immediately recognized it.

          If the didnt then explain why no media outlet has dared to ask the kid to demonstrate all of the functions of it?

          1. It is quite a common practice to take parts from two or more non working devices and put them together in a combination that does work. This is particularly common when replacement parts are not available otherwise. It can be done by someone that has little or no formal training. In the US or Canada we usually just junk stuff and get a new one but elsewhere recycling old stuff is more common. It is also done even here when the device is old but expensive to replace. One might pick up other non functioning units at low cost.

          2. Actually, the breakdown done by Artvoice magazine very clearly shows the markings associated with a single clock, and that no changes had been made at all. Nice try, but….a swing and a miss. Additionally we now know innocent little Ahmed the maker’s sister was suspended for phoning in a bomb threat.

          3. It is absolutely impossible to tell from a photo if all the parts are from the same clock. They don’t know what they are talking about.

          4. He identifies marking on the circuit boards my friend. You’re either lying or you watched the wrong video. Either way your argument is weak.

          5. What markings could distinguish parts as being from the same or different clock if they were from the same make and model? The parts would be interchangeable. As I said they don’t know what they are talking about.

  33. Make is really doubling down on the political correctness, insisting Ahmed is of “like mind” with people who actually make things and don’t shove clocks in cases (where they don’t belong).

    He knew what he was doing, it’s amazing people think he’s actually a smart electronics kid. 14 is old enough to know the difference between “inventing a clock” and “making something deliberately appear suspicious”. He admitted he knew it looked threatening so he changed the lock.. he said that in his first video. But then ignored his teacher when warned, and then got himself arrested, remaining tight-lipped and difficult when police arrived.

    Not opening up his innocent side until on camera from home, where he paints a picture of poor innocent victim. If you can’t see this whole thing is fishy, you’re in denial. It’s just embarrassing that everyone from Obama to NASA thinks this kid is creative and inventive and deserves endless rewards because of that. “Boy genius” one headline wrote. Now we know that’s far from the truth, we’re still giving him scholarships and free trips all over the country? Very odd indeed.

    1. You have to know the press overstates stuff to get attention. In general I think the whole IstandwithAhmed thing really has more to do with standing up to bullying. Like this story from makezine.com they want to support young people with a spark of interest in technology. There is a really big push for STEM education these days. If one has a STEM promotional event why not invite someone who has caught the attention of so many. It brings attention to STEM education in general. When the likes of Google are inviting Ahmed then it is probably time to listen and learn.

  34. I see Ahmed took a Radio Shack clock out of its case and placed the pieces into a case. He presented the case to his teachers claiming to have built a clock. Firstly, presenting someone else’s work to a teacher as your own is Academic fraud and a lie. Secondly, the mere appearance of the case will garner attention in the hypersensitive public schools. In my school the word bomb scrawled on a restroom stall has led to an evacuation until cleared by bomb sniffing police dogs. Public schools operate under the mantra to err on the side of caution. Parents, as well, insist on an abundance of school precaution and safety when caring for their children. Bringing Ahmed and family to Make: ‘s headquarters is downright silly. Far more deserving 14 year olds exist throughout the country. Greg Pack, retired teacher of 14 – 18 year olds.

      1. Retired aerospace engineer after 22 years. Went to grad school for a MA in Mathematics. Taught high school mathematics for 19 years in Florida. Retired 3 years ago. We had a school resource officer ( deputy sherrif) attached to our high school. At our school a case like this would have been taken over by the Sheriff’s Office.

        1. I have been in post secondary for 28 years in British Columbia. For the 18 years I was a lab instructor in electronics technology student projects were mandatory so here this would not have been a “case”. If a student brought in an extra project it would likely result in a casual conversation. My son did a variety of projects for his high school physics classes. I don’t think there has ever been a briefcase bomb case in this province. I did a search and found there was one in Texas in 1989. It did not say if it used a timer or some other form of trigger. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=REExAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4QYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5117%2C4559623

  35. Can someone point me to the link where the transcript is of Ahmed saying he “wanted to make it look scary”? If that doesn’t exist, then why are you making things up? Why does anyone assume he WANTED to “make it look scary”? I’ve yet to understand why anyone thinks this looks scary in the first place. Have they never opened up their computers for any reason?

    1. How about the fact that we now know innocent little Ahmed’s sister was suspended for phoning in a bomb threat.

  36. I for one WILL NOT be renewing my Make subscription for giving this case-modder more attention than he deserves.

  37. SJW always double down just see what Vox Day has to say, or read about it in SJW always lie.

    This kid at best took apart a clock and put it in a case to look like a bomb. At worse, his father, who by the way happens to be a loud mouth rabble rouser put his kid up to it. That is exactly what it looks like. His father should be placed under investigation by the FBI.

    Mr. Needleman, i do not know you so I will give you the benefit of the doubt and simply say you should do your investigative diligence and see for yourself that something smells of this situation. I hate to be the one to inject race and religion into this but I think if you check your heart you will realize if a white kid from the back woods did the same thing it would be a non-issue, and if anything you would be praising the school’s attention to the safety of their kids.

    Please stick with the format of bringing good interesting artistic and phenomenal makers and stay out of politics. It does not suit your audience and is simply turning people off.

      1. So how could you or “that guy” know this is what Ahmed did? That is just guess work. It is just as possible he took parts from two or more clocks that were not working and built one that was working. So this clip actually means nothing at all.

        1. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best one. We can contrive super powers for this kid, but a probable good starting point is that he’s a quite average punk. The demonstrations of his “work” that we’ve been shown reinforce that he’s empty of skills in this area (to be kind).

          1. The best answer is the truth regardless of the complexity. One issue here is the media over simplifies stories then the story can not stand up to scrutiny. Then the public makes up details to fill the gaps and discrepancies.

          2. Yes, the best answer is of course the truth. Words have been misused. At the heart of it is the term “homemade clock” which biases our view of the kid as a misunderstood wizard. Photographic evidence shows that he didn’t make a clock. His conversations with the cops and his interviews lack evidence that he had knowledge about building a clock. The term also misdirects our attention by focusing it on just the clock. Reporters could equally have chosen to focus on the just the box which would also cause a gap in understanding.

            The bias and misdirect aren’t helpful, so we should probably reground our perceptions and picture him as a non-glamorized kid with a box containing a de-cased clock. As we are left to fill in the gaps, we should also note the bias in the remaining story since the educators arent as free to tell there side of the story.

          3. In the absence of real evidence there is a presumption of innocence. As I have stated one can’t actually tell from a photo if the parts are from one clock or two or more clocks.

        2. “So how could you or “that guy” know this is what Ahmed did?”

          You know damn well that’s what he did. He even left the 9V battery back-up cable attached.

          Seriously lay off trying to run cover for this.

  38. O.K., I’ve been following this for days, and I came to this discussion because it has the most knowledgeable people on making electronic devices (and other devices) and asked what kind of board it is (Ardunio? Hand-soldered? Taken whole out of a clock?) and got one response that no one knows and one that the whole device was taken out of a clock.

    So, we do not know the basic facts of the case. There is no way to know what was in the young man’s mind.

    Why are we talking about this? All we have is tea leaves and our imaginations.

    1. 1. Point – all-makers-have-to-start-somewhere-including-ahmed-mohamed
      2. It is in the news
      3. Promote STEM without fear. We live in a technological society.

    2. It came from an existing clock. Only a fool at this point thinks otherwise.

      2) Have you noticed that there has been no other photo of this thing outside of that over-filtered Instagram image. You would think if this was such an astonishing “invention” that it would be on display for everyone to see!

  39. There is something good about taking things apart and tinkering but the issue I have is describing what was done as Inventing a clock. I expect most bright 14 year olds to know the difference between dis-assembling, building, and inventing a device

  40. So you just dismiss every claim made against him? If he didn’t try to pass it off as his invention, I might agree with you, but he didn’t, so I don’t!

    1. For one thing there are no charges against him.
      If a kid from another cultural background uses a single word differently from the way the rest of us would that does not really mean much.
      In the absence of evidence one presumes him innocent.

  41. The story is clearly falling apart and day by day the big lie that this kid and his family are pushing WILL catch up to them.

    To the people that are still trying to run around finding some emotional position in which to try to run cover for this little fraud. You will be exposed along with them.

    to try to “save face” by saying “uh, well everyone has to start somewhere” is pathetic. Simply the most pathetic CYA I’ve ever heard.

    This kid is a LIAR and a FRAUD. All of these companies and schools trying to pose and claim that they so want this “genius” to go to their school or work for them are demonstrating that they are open to hiring dishonest people!

    Can you imaging if in an actual job this guy disobeyed direct instructions from superiors, and then try to pass off something he did not make as his?

    If management didnt catch it, and it made it into a final product, they could get sued into the ground. If he pulled this at a university, he would be kicked out for plagiarism.

    But here we have this army of simps REWARDING him for perpetuating a fraud on the public! They dont care about facts, they just want to toss a wall of emotion in hops of drowning out logic. The exact opposite of what this community is supposed to be about.

    Shame on this writer, and shame on MAKE:. You disgrace us all when you encourage cheating because it fits some narrative or agenda.

    If I was this kid’s dad, I would box up all of that crap he was gifted and donate it to a needy school so honest kids can make real inventions. I would take all of that money given to him and put it in a trust to be awarded to kids that write in with ideas they want funding for. I would then put my son on TV and demand that he apologize to EVERYONE and then I would ground him until spring.

  42. Yep, good idea. Bring him around some really smart kids who REALLY build things, to see what other ideas he can steal. You’re a total fucking moron! Also think of this:

    Odumbo supporting Ahmed is a direct condemnation of the school and the police. Anyone who thinks this was racially motivated needs to answer one simple question:

    If John Smith with blond hair and blue eyes brought a device like that unsolicited (so not an assignment, no science fair going on) to the school Obumbo’s kids go to, and then plugged it in and set if off while sitting right next to Mooesha or Sasha (or whatever the fuck Odumbo’s kids are named) what would happen??

    Um, can anyone say secret service take down, and a lot rougher than just being put in cuffs?

    So that would happen if Odumbo’s kids were around, and anyone who thinks it would not is an idiot, yet when the school reacts to protect the safety of the kids there, Odumbo thinks they overreacted? I guess his kids are more important than yours, or mine? Fuck him

  43. A 5 year old could do what Ahmed the liar did, cannot believe you still support him! Taking the case off a plastic clock and putting the pieces in another case is NOT making or building or inventing anything. While I agree with you we all have to start somewhere, this asshole broke the #1 rule “NEVER steal someone’s work and try to say it’s your own”. As soon as Ahmed the asshole took his bullshit device to school and started bleating “Look at me, look what I invented”, he became nothing but a liar and plagiarizer. It was disgraceful to see him being treated like a star at the Google Science Fair with those REAL inventor kids, and it’s disgraceful for you to think of bringing him to your fair. Just man up and admit you fucked up.

  44. I will not be renewing my subscription to make magazine. The obvious liberal bias that has been demonstrated here is intolerable. This 20 mile reach to excuse this kid’s lie, (and it was a lie) is pathetic. This was a stunt instigated by the boy’s father to cause the very commotion that it did. The fact that this publication can’t admit it was taken in by this stunt is just sad. The school and the police involved acted responsibly to protect the students from a posible threat. I can only hope that this incident and the reaction to it won’t cause other schools to not do likewise the next time (and there will be a next time) a suspicious “electronics project” is brought to school.

  45. I made poo poo in potty once. (Hope that accurately expresses the extent to which a truistic headline renders your article unecessary.) Luckily for your headline, the first half of the article was worse. Framing your piece as a rebuttal that will right the wrongs hampers your ability to personalize anyone (including yourself) later. Framing it this way and failing to note at LEAST 3 additional failures of reporting then disregarding at least two gentlemen’s addition to the story that don’t demonize Ahmed at all other than to say 1) he shouldn’t have used the word “invented” & 2)identify the exact clock used.

    Your 2nd half has potential to offer an incredibly refreshing perspective though. Decide if you want this to feel like a rebuttal or parallel stories about kids tinkering and the magical, energizing, often persobal richness of that. Cut the rebuttal stuff. It doesn’t feel as if your (practiced in/committed to) it here. It can be tedious, dry work and few people are engaged beyond whatever agenda Kool-aid they’ve already drank.

    Most articles on this ‘story’ have come weighted down by agenda so they wouldnt float away from lack of journalism. Each becomes another ship passing in the cliche. The ambiguous direction (not the good kind) of this piece makes it feel like a drunk captain wanted to (LOOK AT ME) prove he (LOOK AT ME) could (LOOK AT ME) sail too (LOOK AT ME).

    Take the heart of the second half and flesh it out and you might have the one honest note in the whole debacle. After those stories are told, allow the peanut gallery demands Kids do kid stuff to look cool, impress an adult, punk an adult, etc. without the process needing good guys, bad guys and victims. If his way through a potentially difficult age is making a MOD that with a keener eye on design could become an insanely cool kids pencil case, He is winning. If he wanted the overreaction and ended up giving one of the least-painful teaching moments any adult ever got to everyone, Winning. If he learned the importance of exactness of language and the incredibly tiny window 15 minutes of fame is with little pain to himself, WINNING. And certainly if this just happened to heighten the public awareness of so many great maker/inventor events, the value of being so equipped in the 21st century and that our country is filled with kids such as that 14 year old who ACHIEVED NUCLEAR FUSION, who make AMAZING tangible every day.

    We learn more than dexterity and technical skills in those young maker moments. Some elements of who we will become as adults begin to surface. We learn to remain focused on a goal as we navigate the positivity and frustrations of those more challenging projects. And, sometimes, we learn that regardless of the strength of our will or the size of the wings we strap on his arms, we may not yet be equipped to enable our little brothers to fly. Let us not forget those important lessons at these times when we may most benefit from them.

    (So glad I didn’t extend any of those weak metaphors that raised their heads and didn’t need to worry about editing that pile I just created & killing my runons.)

  46. I wonder how you Progressive jack-wagons feel now that we know Ahmed’s sister was suspended for phoning in a bomb threat?

  47. Here are two other of Ahmed’s “Inventions”:

    The first is a simple USB Hub, once again simply removed from its plastic case.

    The second he describes as an MPC Player. Notice the tiny Surface Mount devices with many tiny legs soldered to the board. This, among other things, give it away as just another commercial product sans case.

    No signs of invention whatsoever.

  48. This is MAKE’s own Defusable Alarm Clock Kit.

    It is well designed, and unlike Ahmed’s devices, has no Surface Mounted Components. A real Maker would have fun with this kit, and although it is still not an “Invention”, one could understand the justifiable pride of any 14-yr old that built it.

    Many of us are not really interested in the Politics of the matter, but as hard-working Makers ourselves, are fuming at the attention Admed gets for some very underwhelming projects.http://www.makershed.com/products/defusable-alarm-clock-kit?utm_source=MakerShed+20150919&utm_medium=email&utm_term=&utm_content=image&utm_campaign=clocks#

    1. I can’t help but be interested in the politics, when irresponsible people(looking at you Rafe!), who have a clear duty to know better, sacrifice the safety of other people’s children, so they can make some misguided Progressive point. Who knows, maybe this family really is being harassed by the local authorities, but this rush to defend and now reward this kid has been unseemly at best. Especially, as you astutely point out, there are most likely far more deserving people and a good number of them are probably Muslim too.

  49. As far as being a Muslim, here’s a thought.

    How about MAKE finding some American Muslim children who are REALLY smart and are making things that are actually cool ?

    I’ll bet there are thousands and thousands.