Texas teen arrested over clock is moving to Qatar with his family

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Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was detained after police said a suspicious device was found inside his pencil box at MacArthur High School. Photo courtesy of USA Today

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was detained after police said a suspicious device was found inside his pencil box at MacArthur High School. Photo courtesy of USA Today

DALLAS (Reuters) The Texas boy arrested for bringing to school a homemade clock that was mistaken for a bomb is moving to Qatar, his family said on Tuesday (Oct. 20), a few hours after he was at the White House for an astronomy night hosted by President Barack Obama.

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, a bespectacled ninth-grader who became an Internet sensation for an arrest that supporters said was influenced by bias against his Muslim religion, has accepted an offer from the Qatar Foundation to study at its Young Innovators Program.

“This means, that we, as a family, will relocate to Qatar where Ahmed will receive a full scholarship for secondary and undergraduate education,” his family said in a statement.

The teenager, who dabbles in robotics and had attended a Dallas-area high school, has basked in celebrity status since his arrest in September. The family has been traveling the globe to meet dignitaries.

Sudanese state radio reported that his father took him to meet Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The Sudanese leader is accused by the International Criminal Court of masterminding genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes during Sudan’s Darfur conflict.

After Mohamed was seen in a NASA T-shirt in handcuffs, the Twitter hashtag #IStandWithAhmed trended globally and was cited in praise from Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, who said: “Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest.”

No charges were filed and police in the Dallas suburb of Irving said in September they were reviewing their actions in the case..

At the White House on Monday night, Obama briefly met Mohamed as he shook hands with students at the event, giving the student a hug.

At the time of the arrest, Obama’s Twitter feed had a message of support for Mohammed, which read: “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”

“It was amazing, and a honor meeting President Obama,” Mohamed said on Twitter after meeting Obama.

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza.)

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  • William

    Qatar will be quite a change for this young man. He’ll be able to see the difference between Texas and Qatar, a place which supports slavery.

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/series/modern-day-slavery-in-focus+world/qatar

  • Bernardo

    Yes indeed, he will now see the full view of Islam that teaches death to all infidels by any means, polygamy and treating women as third class citizens.

  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    i dont suppose this was an easy decision. But I also doubt if the clock incident was the first time this young man or other family members have been mistreated in Texas. If I were a father, I’m very sure I’d want to do everything I could do to ensure the safety of my children. The clock incident doesn’t bode well for that imperative.

  • Bernardo

    Why the citizens of Texas might be a bit sensitized to Muslims building anything remotely looking like a bomb:

    The massacre in Mumbai, the assassinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood, Texas follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.