A 14-year-old Texas schoolboy who was arrested after his homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb has been inundated with offers of support from top tech entrepreneurs, universities and hacker spaces.
Ahmed Mohammed made global headlines after he was detained, interrogated and suspended from his school after bringing in the homemade digital clock he’d hacked together in a silver briefcase.
The student had been wanting to show an engineering teacher at his school but the device was flagged as a bomb hoax and confiscated.
When local police were called in, they deemed it suspicious and booked the student, but police later decided not to lay charges.
They said their response to the incident "evolved as it did as a matter of safety and an abundance of caution".
The story quickly went viral on social media where a hashtag #IStandWithAhmed began trending.
What followed was a flood of support from everyone US President Barack Obama to the world’s top technology companies, all seeking to encourage Mohammed’s interest in hacking and STEM. [Science, technology, engineering and mathematics]
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.
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was one of the first entrepreneurs to lend his support.
“Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.
“Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I'd love to meet you. Keep building.”
Foursquare extended its support. “We love to make things too,” it tweeted. “Never stop inventing the future.”
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian offered to introduce Mohammed to “some of our friends in science” as well as an internship.
Autodesk CEO Carl Bass urged the student not to be “put off” by the incident. “Come hang out at Autodesk and we’ll make something new together,” he tweeted.
Box CEO Aaron Levie added his support.
Ahmed, I know you've been invited to the White House and Facebook. But, we both know you're enterprise software guy at heart. Come by Box!
— Aaron Levie (@levie) September 16, 2015
— Twitter (@twitter) September 16, 2015