18 Sep 2015

From handcuffs to the White House

10:55 am on 18 September 2015

Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas 14-year-old who was arrested for bringing a homemade digital clock to school after a teacher said it looked like a bomb, has received invitations from the White House, Facebook, and his dream college.

(L-R) Attorney Linda Moreno, Ahmed Mohamed, and Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed address the media during a news conference on September 16, 2015 in Irving, Texas.

(L-R) Attorney Linda Moreno, Ahmed Mohamed, and his father Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed address the media during a news conference. Photo: AFP

Texas police released the 14-year-old Muslim boy when it was determined there was no threat but not before the boy was placed in handcuffs and fingerprinted.

Officials at MacArthur High School in Irving alerted police because they thought the device was a "hoax bomb".

Ahmed Mohamed's arrest has been sharply criticised, and the boy has received an outpouring of support including an invitation to the White House from President Barack Obama.

Ahmed told reporters it was "very sad" that his teacher thought his clock was a threat.

"I built a clock to impress my teacher but when I showed it to her she thought it was a threat to her. I'm very sad that she got the wrong impression of it."

At the same news conference Ahmed announced he plans to transfer schools.

The hand made clock made by teenager Ahmed Mohamed.

The hand made clock made by teenager Ahmed Mohamed. Photo: AFP PHOTO / IRVING POLICE DEPARTMENT

Ahmed's father Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who is originally from Sudan, praised his son's ingenuity, saying he fixes everything around the house, including his father's phone and computer.

"He's a very smart, brilliant boy and he said he just wanted to show himself to the world," he said.

The police have rejected the claim made by Ahmed's family that he was detained because of his name.

"We have always had an outstanding relationship with the Muslim community ...incidents like this present challenges. We want to learn how we can move forward and turn this into a positive," Irving Police Department chief Larry Boyd said.

Clock boy in demand

There's been a lot of outrage about what happened and loads of support for Ahmed.

Ahmed told reporters that he will be accepting US president Barack Obama's invitation to visit him in Washington DC.

The schoolboy also received invitations from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Ahmed was pictured wearing a Nasa T-shirt when he was arrested.

The space agency showed its support and he could be going to Space Camp thanks to a generous donor.

The budding engineer has called the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) his "dream school."

During an interview with MSNBC the 14-year-old was introduced to a surprise guest: MIT astrophysicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein.

The scientist, who works in the university's top-ranked Department of Physics told Ahmed that he was exactly the "kind of student we want at places like MIT and Harvard."

Ahmed's thanked his supporters on social media, who have been using the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed.

One of those was Grammy Award winning musician Pharrell Williams.

Ahmed has been offered help with changing schools.

Some have poked fun at what many have seen as an over-reaction from the school and police.

⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️ is running out. We have no more ⌛️⌛️⌛️⌛️ for this. #IStandWithAhmed.

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on