Conspiracy theories swirled around the case of Ahmed Mohamed, the boy who was arrested and handcuffed by police because of his homemade clock mistaken to be a bomb when brought in school. Richard Dawkins, a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and known atheist, suspects Ahmed has an ulterior motive. Thomas Talbot, a known medical virtual reality scientist, alleges Ahmed intentionally designed the clock to be suspicious to get the attention he is getting now. An anonymous engineering enthusiast dissected Ahmed’s clock and concluded that it is indeed a hoax bomb. Various media reports, including Sarah Palin, think the whole controversy is one of President Barack Obama’s propaganda.
Dawkins suffered social media backlash when he first tweeted about his doubts on Ahmed. “What was his motive? Whether or not he wanted the police to arrest him, they shouldn’t have done so,” Dawkins said in his tweet. He later added, “Yes, there are other reasons why a boy might take a clock out of its casing & pretend he’d made it. Trying to impress teachers, for instance.” Dawkins tweets were accompanied by a video from Talbot and a link to an article from artvoice.com titled “Reverse Engineering Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock and Ourselves.” Dawkins further tweeted: “If the reassembled components did something more than the original clock, that’s creative. If not, it looks like hoax.”
The video from Talbot, titled “Ahmed Mohamed Clock is FRAUD,” alleged that the clock in the center of the hullabaloo “is in fact not an invention. The clock is a commercial bedside alarm clock removed from its casing.” The video has been viewed for more than 700,000 times since being posted on YouTube.
In the video, Talbot explained that the clock has printed circuit boards and ribbon cables; 9-volt battery back-up. All these proved that it was a mass-produced product. “This was put in here to look like a device, with these cables and these… to look like a device that would be suspicious, and I think intentionally so. This is simply taking a clock out of its case, and I think probably for provocative reasons, intentionally,” Talbot said in the video.
The anonymous blogger/engineer behind the article “Reverse Engineering Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock and Ourselves” also dissected the clock. He found that the original clock was listed on eBay and was actually invented by Micronta, a Radio Shack subsidiary. The pencil case on the other hand was listed on Amazon. The anonymous blogger, known only with his first name Anthony, concluded his long piece saying “Ahmed Mohamed did not invent, nor build a clock. He took apart an existing clock, and transplanted the guts into a pencil box, and claimed it was his own creation.” He further concluded that “is it possible, that maybe, just maybe, this was actually a hoax bomb? A silly prank that was taken the wrong way? That the media then ran with, and everyone else got carried away? Maybe there wasn’t even any racial or religious bias on the parts of the teachers and police.”
Writing for Breitbart, Ben Shapiro suspects that a big political propaganda by the Obama administration is behind the controversy. He noted that there had been a long list of students being detained for mistaken experiments. Such is the case of 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot of Florida who was arrested for an experiment involving toilet cleaner and aluminum foil in 2013. Shapiro stressed that Mr. Obama, unlike with Ahmed’s case, was missing in action at the time of Wilmot’s arrest.
“Why did Obama jump on this (Ahmed) story? Why did Hillary jump on this story? Where were they for then-16-year-old Kiera Wilmot of Florida to the White House after she was arrested and suspended in 2013 for bringing an experiment with toilet cleaner and aluminum foil to school?” Shapiro wrote.
Shapiro then explained that “for years, the Obama administration has pushed the notion that American Muslims are in danger of Islamophobic backlash. So where, exactly, are all the invitations to Jewish students targeted in hate crime incidents? They don’t exist, because they don’t help President Obama castigate America as xenophobic and backwards.”
Steve Watson of Infowars.com is singing the same tune. “At the very least this situation was quickly seized on by special interest groups and the White House to push their agendas, and at worst it seems it was a complete setup,” he wrote.
Controversial political figure, Sarah Palin, will not let this one pass to attack Mr. Obama. In a Facebook post, she said that Ahmed clock is another of Mr. Obama’s “practice of jumping in cases prematurely to interject himself as the cool savior, wanting so badly to attach himself to the issue-of-the-day.” She added that this tactic “got old years ago.”