Hackers And Tech Giants Put Their Full Force Behind Ahmed Mohamed

September 16th 2015

Alex Mierjeski

Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Irving, Texas high school student arrested Monday for bringing what administrators believed be a bomb to school, couldn't have predicted the outpouring of support he would receive, while he assembled the homemade clock that alarmed school officials and local police.

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Mohamed initially brought the homemade clock to school to impress teachers and show off a homespun penchant for engineering, however he ended up being interrogated and handcuffed. In the days following his arrest and subsequent release, Mohamed's story spread across social media, resulting in an invitation to the White House from President Obama. Countless other groups are also encouraging the freshman's creativity and aspirations.

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Mohamed is also receiving support from the hacker and tech community in nearby Dallas, Motherboard's Jason Koebler reported Wednesday. The community is seeking to provide the educational support his school apparently could not. One local hacker, WhiskeyNeon, gave Mohamed a year's membership to a Dallas hackerspace called TheLab.ms. Others are working on getting him a lifetime membership, Motherboard reported.

Dallas' hacker community also provided tangible encouragement to Mohamed in the form of hardware for him to tinker with, while reiterating the need to support young people with passions for technology and innovation. The 14-year-old was also invited to speak at the next Dallas Hackers Association meeting, and others in the Texas hacking community were reportedly seeking membership for him in various local laboratories, the site noted.

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"We're giving him an Arduino, solar panels, a lot of hardware as encouragement because we support what he's doing," WhiskeyNeon told Motherboard. "As a hacker community, this is our backyard. We're going to stand up and show people what this is all about. We want to encourage him."

One co-organizer of the Dallas Hackers Association named Tinker told Motherboard that Ahmed's case—had it not gone viral, of course—illustrates the danger that school administrators' and law enforcements' actions could have on budding creatives.

"He just started [high] school, he's excited and wants to impress his teachers so he brings this in and, boom, he's arrested," Tinker told the site. "They put him in handcuffs. That's a frightening experience that can make you lose complete trust in authority and can make you not want to reach out anymore about [hacking and engineering]."

Mohamed also received support from high-profile politicians and other tech and engineering higher-ups, including at least a couple of prospective future job offers.

You’ve probably seen the story about Ahmed, the 14 year old student in Texas who built a clock and was arrested when he...

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