Texas teenager Ahmed Mohamed brought a clock that looked like a bomb to school. His dad is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. And with a little help from President Obama, they have been treated like celebrities in New York, Qatar, and now Saudi Arabia.
It was only weeks ago that 14-year-old Mohamed brought his “suitcase clock” to MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, on Sept. 14. Cops temporarily detained him and school officials imposed a three-day suspension, but the ensuing media attention prompted an invite to the White House by Obama. Attention by dignitaries around the globe followed.
Mohamed and his family arrived at Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, last Friday. They landed after spending time with Turkey’s prime minister at the U.N.’s General Assembly in New York, and touring an “education city” in Doha, Qatar, funded by the Qatari government.
Awad Qarshom, head of the Sudanese community in Jeddah, told Arab News on Saturday a celebration was organized to honor Mohamed.
“Ahmed Al-Hassan will be honored by the creativity committee of the Sudanese community in Jeddah during a celebration which will be organized soon with prominent personalities of the community in the Kingdom and journalists of the Sudanese media including TV and newspapers,” Qarshom said.
The family also plans to visit relatives and take part in umrah (a pilgrimage to Mecca), hosted by the Saudi government.
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Mohammed Elhassan Mohamed, the boy’s father, immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-80s from Sudan. He has twice attempted to become the North African country’s president as part of the Arabic-language National Reform Party.
The official Facebook page for the 50-year-old’s political party has been locked by moderators since its support for 9/11 conspiracy theories was publicized Oct. 6.
“Yesterday [Friday, September 11, 2015] was the anniversary observed in the United States of America on what is called ‘September 11th.’ This was the miracle that came to America in the form of terrorism – which offered her the invasion of Islamic countries (headed by Afghanistan and Iraq), which she saw as a great threat – on a golden plate,” a recent Facebook post by Asad al-Barari said, WND reported. “Thus [the events of September 11th] are but an American media creation, no matter how some may try to label them as ‘Islamic terrorism.’ They were indeed terrorism, but terrorism American style – terrorism that sweeps away and annihilates whole countries, and not those few buildings in the midst of New York City.”
The Mohamed family’s celebrity status continues to frustrate school officials in Irving, Texas, who insist evidence they cannot publicly disclose due to child privacy laws tells a different story of the boy’s ordeal.
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne told the Dallas Morning News Oct. 8 that Ahmed’s family continues to deny permission requested by Irving School District officials to release its records.
“The family is ignoring the requests from the ISD,” Van Duyne told the newspaper.
“If the family grants us written permission to release the information, we would be happy to provide additional facts to the media,” school district spokeswoman Lesley Weaver told reporters shortly after Obama invited the boy to the White House Sept. 16.
Thomas Bowers and Reggie London, attorneys representing the family, did not respond last Friday when asked for comment by the Dallas Morning News.