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Old 16th September 2015, 02:15 PM   #121
Giordano
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
And...? No-one is suggesting this kid is some kind of genius. This 14 yo was obviously proud enough of what he did to want to show his teacher. My daughter will be 14 in November so I am quite sensitive to the types of things a kid this age might be proud of. The details of how easy you think his project was have no bearing of the topic of this thread.

Go pick on someone your own age!
You know I've been very disappointed in the 14 year olds with which I've picked a fight- they can barely reach up high enough to punch my face and they are really naive when it comes to sucker punches. A couple of well-placed kicks and they fall right over.
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:16 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
And...? No-one is suggesting this kid is some kind of genius.
I....am not so sure about that. I respect what you say in the rest of your post and largely agree with it; but I'm pretty sure I saw news articles referring to the clock as "homemade", built from scratch, an "invention". And some of the responses he's gotten from noteworthy individuals seem to suggest they got the same impression - that he actually fabricated a clock from raw wires and PCBs somehow, as opposed to the truth which is that he took an already-built clock out of its case and put it in a new case.

The problem isn't even specifically with that detail. This whole situation has been badly reported from the beginning. A look a this very thread shows people joking about how the teachers and police thought the object was a bomb - as indeed, all the original press reports, being solely based on the statements of the student since he's the one who took the incident to the media, said was the case - when subsequent police reports have made it clear that the object was never believed to have been a bomb, but was merely suspected of having been mocked up to look like a Hollywood-style bomb. Ask yourself why, for instance, the situation was dealt with by a teacher taking the thing away, and then police officers taking the student out of class a few hours later as opposed to, say, a building evacuation and a bomb-squad response. But yet - "ha ha, they're so stupid, there aren't even any explosives in it!".
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:23 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
Wow. I change my statement. They definitely know this kid, but not in the way I was thinking. They've obviously had him on watch since he's been at that school. They've probably been just waiting for the chance to get him on something like this. His family should get him as far away from there as they can. It's mind-numbing to hear these fundies and teabaggers complain that some other group of people is doing the very thing they are all trying to do themselves.
No. This story has reached international ears. Did you see all the comments from people all over the world on that high school's facebook page? No. That town DARE not touch this kid after this incident. He's perfectly safe there. That, and it makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit, the idea of giving in to a bunch of asshat bullies. "Moving out" is exactly what this town wants him to do.
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:26 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I....am not so sure about that. I respect what you say in the rest of your post and largely agree with it; but I'm pretty sure I saw news articles referring to the clock as "homemade", built from scratch, an "invention". And some of the responses he's gotten from noteworthy individuals seem to suggest they got the same impression - that he actually fabricated a clock from raw wires and PCBs somehow, as opposed to the truth which is that he took an already-built clock out of its case and put it in a new case.

The problem isn't even specifically with that detail. This whole situation has been badly reported from the beginning. A look a this very thread shows people joking about how the teachers and police thought the object was a bomb - as indeed, all the original press reports, being solely based on the statements of the student since he's the one who took the incident to the media, said was the case - when subsequent police reports have made it clear that the object was never believed to have been a bomb, but was merely suspected of having been mocked up to look like a Hollywood-style bomb. Ask yourself why, for instance, the situation was dealt with by a teacher taking the thing away, and then police officers taking the student out of class a few hours later as opposed to, say, a building evacuation and a bomb-squad response. But yet - "ha ha, they're so stupid, there aren't even any explosives in it!".
The boy was led off in handcuffs and threatened with suspension! The teacher took a perfectly legitimate possession from the boy, then notified the authorities in the school who, in turn, detained him and notified the police, who in turn persisted in threatening the boy with being charged with a crime. Over a clock! Yep- seems pretty smart to me. And yes, I hope that the police involved keep their bullet in their shirt pocket.

Show me one other news article that failed to get all the facts correct! I dare you! I double dar... Oh, on thinking about it, maybe you shouldn't bother...

The facts for which you express skepticism do not appear to be the ones that have created this resonance of support for the boy. He brought in an electronic clock that he had helped put together (to some degree or another) to show his teacher. He ended up in handcuffs, threatened with suspension and worse. Quite probably (although no one can prove it) his race and religion increased the magnitude of the officials suspicion and reaction. Those aspects are what created the angry response in the media.

Edited to add: he was arrested not just questioned by the police!

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Old 16th September 2015, 02:28 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Jrrarglblarg View Post
Maybe I'm wrong, journalism ain't what it use to be.

You're not wrong. It isn't.
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:30 PM   #126
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As for "making" something or not:

I get to claim I "made" my computer when all I did was assemble some things I bought on newegg into a used rack mount server case I bought on eBay.

I get to claim I "made" a model airplane, using injection molded parts and a tube of glue. I didn't even clean up the sprues with a nail file or paint it. But I can say I "made" it.

RocketBoy2.0 was thrilled when I brought birthday cupcakes to school. I overheard him bragging that I "made" them. I'm ashamed to admit I used cake mix from a box. Really, because I know how to bake from scratch, and even own a grain grinder and "make" custom flour for bread.

People into Steampunk "make" ordinary things into steampunk things by doing nothing more than hot gluing random sprockets on the side of the box and spraying stuff with Krylon.

Donald Trump gets to say "I'm a builder, I build stuff" when he does no such thing - he pays other people to it for him, until he decides to stop paying them. His name stil goes on the building, even if he doesn't own it when complete.
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:30 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Jrrarglblarg View Post
I found the video of the police presser from today, announcing no charges
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Mn2JtbA7enY
I could almost see his nose growing longer and longer with every word he spoke. Ahmed was handcuffed for his safety? And the safety of the officers? I call BS of the first order!
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:35 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Jrrarglblarg View Post
Just a clarification, the "briefcase" is the pencil box with a lenticular picture on the lid.
The picture the cops released was of a briefcase.


Brainy kid with no common sense gets harassed by stupid teachers and cops with no common sense.

Didn't anyone think to ask for the engineering teacher's input

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Old 16th September 2015, 02:36 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
You know I've been very disappointed in the 14 year olds with which I've picked a fight- they can barely reach up high enough to punch my face and they are really naive when it comes to sucker punches. A couple of well-placed kicks and they fall right over.
I suspect a couple of my daughter's male friends could give me a good fight. They are a tall as me but do not quite have the same mass . Their advantage would be agility. I will endeavor to stay on their good side because if they keep on growing I will be able to use them as bodyguards in a couple of years (for my daughter or me ).
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:38 PM   #130
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Ahmed uses the word "invention" in his video, but I don't know anyone over the age of 14 who would call a casemod an "invention."

Still: If it's nothing more than a crude case mod of an existing clock, transplanted exactly as built and sold, it's still a valid job of casemodding the clock. Adults get credit for "making" casemod computers out of nothing more than an HP from OfficeWhatever and a pile of Lego bricks.
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:40 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The picture the cops released was of a briefcase

No, it isn't. It's a pencil box. A very nice pencil box styled to resemble boxes like musician road cases, but still just a pencil box, with a lenticular picture (a lion, I think) on the lid.
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:41 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The picture the cops released was of a briefcase.


Brainy kid with no common sense gets harassed by stupid teachers and cops with no common sense.

Didn't anyone think to ask for the engineering teacher's input
Either that is the most gigantic power cord plug in the United States, or that is not a briefcase but actually a Vaultz Pencil Case, which I suspect is selling like hotcakes on Amazon at the moment. Although I admit it looks quite briefcase-like, which I suspect was the point of the design.
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:42 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I suspect a couple of my daughter's male friends could give me a good fight. They are a tall as me but do not quite have the same mass . Their advantage would be agility. I will endeavor to stay on their good side because if they keep on growing I will be able to use them as bodyguards in a couple of years (for my daughter or me ).
That's why I always recommend sucker punches or unexpected use of common objects as bludgeons before the kids even suspect it! A couple of wacks to the head before they even know what is going on...

Have you heard the expression that "old age and treachery will always overcome youth and strength"?
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:44 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The picture the cops released was of a briefcase.
Compare the case to the size of the plug on the right side of the picture. This is much smaller than a standard briefcase. If I assume that the plug is one inch long I would ballpark estimate the case dimensions as 6"x 8", although I would accept anything up to about 8"x 11" (standard paper size).

eta ninja'd by Checkmite
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:48 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
That's why I always recommend sucker punches or unexpected use of common objects as bludgeons before the kids even suspect it! A couple of wacks to the head before they even know what is going on...

Have you heard the expression that "old age and treachery will always overcome youth and strength"?
That's a great idea. If I teach them who's the boss now they might never realize that any thing has changed!
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:51 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
But of course I can not be certain that these did not came from the guts of a pre-assembled clock, although the size and shape of the items and length of the cables makes this seem less likely than a kit or self-assembled.
Here is where we won't agree, because on the contrary, it is exactly the size and shape of the items and the length of the wires and cables that makes me reasonably certain that the components are straight from an alarm clock, in toto. With the exception of the power cable itself, all of the wires are just long enough to accommodate the components' assembly in a very tiny space, and not really anywhere else.
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Old 16th September 2015, 02:52 PM   #137
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I just wonder what America is gonna do when they win the War on Terror and there's no more terror anymore... What are all these people gonna do??

Seems the Cold War has left a permanent "the threat within" psychology...

How do we know the clock wasn't working on commie time anyway? Had the kid or his parents ever been a member of the communist party? Where's the JBS when u need them???
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Old 16th September 2015, 03:01 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
If he is 14 and did it himself, it seems impressive. Not world class, but he took it apart, cut some wires, cut the right size hole in the pencil box, reassembled it and soldered the wires. I know adults who can't do that.

The rewards he is getting are not related to the skill involved, nor should they be.
Indeed, that's how many kids get their starts in STEM-related matters.

Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I used to take apart mechanical clocks when I was a kid (be careful of the mainspring- it is very angry being wound into that tight spiral!) and I regret that there is not much to see in electronic clocks today. But that is another story.
It's actually getting better than it was back, say, 20 years ago. At least now you can use the internet to look up datasheets, figure out some electronics basics, and the like, although that may be beyond the knowhow of the average kid just starting out.
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Old 16th September 2015, 03:04 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Nihilianth View Post
"Moving out" is exactly what this town wants him to do.
Aren't we speculating a bit, here?
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Old 16th September 2015, 03:14 PM   #140
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In one of the articles I read, it said that Ahmed was not allowed to call his father, and they tried to have him sign some form of statement. Regardless of any zero-tolerance policy on electronics/bombs/clocks, this is just wrong. The school authorities should have called his father immediately and certainly not denied him from doing so.
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Old 16th September 2015, 03:16 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Monza View Post
In one of the articles I read, it said that Ahmed was not allowed to call his father, and they tried to have him sign some form of statement. Regardless of any zero-tolerance policy on electronics/bombs/clocks, this is just wrong. The school authorities should have called his father immediately and certainly not denied him from doing so.
Yea, I picked up on that as well. It seems like there was some serious procedure violations committed by the school/police.
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Old 16th September 2015, 03:20 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
That's why I always recommend sucker punches or unexpected use of common objects as bludgeons before the kids even suspect it! A couple of wacks to the head before they even know what is going on...

Have you heard the expression that "old age and treachery will always overcome youth and strength"?
Old age and a .357 ain't bad at all either!!!
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Old 16th September 2015, 03:23 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
And...? No-one is suggesting this kid is some kind of genius. This 14 yo was obviously proud enough of what he did to want to show his teacher. My daughter will be 14 in November so I am quite sensitive to the types of things a kid this age might be proud of. The details of how easy you think his project was have no bearing of the topic of this thread.

Go pick on someone your own age!
I once made a small light bulb light up with a potato at that exact age. It was fun. And yeah, I was quite proud about it, even though it is technically very simple. Luckily, my electronics teacher was supportive, as opposed to being critical and bored. Though I did not go into electronics, I did go into IT.
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Old 16th September 2015, 03:23 PM   #144
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Welcome to the War On Terror. Please have a seat and remove your shoes.

The TSA helped terrorists deny me of a root beer one time; a factory sealed aluminum can. I was flying in U.S. Army uniform that day. As I tossed out my lunch beverage and prepared to remove my combat boots I looked at the next person in line and said "this is what letting the terrorist win looks like."
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Old 16th September 2015, 03:26 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by Praktik View Post
I just wonder what America is gonna do when they win the War on Terror and there's no more terror anymore... What are all these people gonna do??

Seems the Cold War has left a permanent "the threat within" psychology...

How do we know the clock wasn't working on commie time anyway? Had the kid or his parents ever been a member of the communist party? Where's the JBS when u need them???
I used to wonder what we would do at the end of the Cold War. Now I am cynically convinced that some threat will always be found, real or not. It is inherent to how it all works.

What the newspaper articles don't tell you is that the clock was set to Iranian time!! Communists are passe now, although we are warming to a Putin threat.
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Old 16th September 2015, 03:34 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Jrrarglblarg View Post
No, it isn't. It's a pencil box. A very nice pencil box styled to resemble boxes like musician road cases, but still just a pencil box, with a lenticular picture (a lion, I think) on the lid.
Tiger. Because, you know, bomb hoaxes are always way more convincing if there's a picture of a big scary tiger involved.[<--sarcasm]
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Old 16th September 2015, 03:41 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by Jrrarglblarg View Post
Ahmed uses the word "invention" in his video, but I don't know anyone over the age of 14 who would call a casemod an "invention."

Still: If it's nothing more than a crude case mod of an existing clock, transplanted exactly as built and sold, it's still a valid job of casemodding the clock. Adults get credit for "making" casemod computers out of nothing more than an HP from OfficeWhatever and a pile of Lego bricks.
When I was a young kid I would be very proud of the things that I put together from a cigar box, wax paper, and a flashlight bulb. Then I saw what the Westinghouse Scholarship "kids" were doing- very depressing. In fact, it is even depressing now to compare myself with them even though I grew up to have my own college lab.
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Old 16th September 2015, 04:25 PM   #148
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What a terrible situation.

However, I found this tiny little blurb in the a newspaper interesting:
Originally Posted by The Dallas Morning News
“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” said Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who immigrated from Sudan and occasionally returns there to run for president. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/commu...-to-school.ece
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Old 16th September 2015, 05:01 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
<snip>

And again the passive aggressive comment is referring to his original demeanor with he first teachers who asked him about it. I'm sure the schools first reaction wasn't to throw up the bat signal and call the cops.

It seems odd to be so certain the boy's demeanor was at fault or somehow blameworthy when we can see clearly from the evidence at hand that the demeanor of adults around him was borderline pathological.

He was asked a question. He answered it. What else do you expect of him.

His demeanor was most likely 'scared', and shortly afterward 'scared to death'.

What would your demeanor be if you were being accused of terrorism by cops and bureaucrats and then dragged off in handcuffs. For building (or assembling ... whatever) a clock.

He's fourteen. Old enough to know the way adults and authorities in this country go off the rails when their fear and bigotry get cued up at the same time.

And he's probably already been a target to at least some of his.schoolmates.
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Old 16th September 2015, 05:03 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by 666 View Post
I'm surprised he wasn't accused of planning to steal the school's electricity.

He was gonna make off with a whole briefcase full.

Add larceny to the rest of his crimes.
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Old 16th September 2015, 05:50 PM   #151
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I doubt if most of the teachers, cops, etc. involved in this case know that they have a "clock" (that's a nerd term, y'all) in every computer device ever made, including their watch, laptop, iPad, tablet, automobile, GPS, cellphone, electric stove, or dishwasher, just for starters.
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Old 16th September 2015, 09:32 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by beelzebub View Post
Stupid people always feel threatened by smart people!
Perhaps it's that the smart kid is more capable, and will succeed better than them that makes them feel insecure and frightened.

Better to just make the smart kid 'disappear', then everyone can breath a sigh of relief and go about their small, petty little lives, unencumbered by such un-godly inconveniences like knowledge, intelligence, capability etc

This is much more true than anyone realizes.
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Old 16th September 2015, 11:45 PM   #153
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2 things.

1) How stupid are people doing this? Why can't people just admit when they are wrong and apologize?

2) What an image problem Islam has. Muslims can scare the living hell out of people by carrying around basic electronics.
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Old 16th September 2015, 11:47 PM   #154
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On page two I was thinking Ahmed has cool story to tell his grandkids but now I am not sure anymore. Seems like there is a problem ..
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Old 17th September 2015, 12:16 AM   #155
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This is a tough one to call. The school and the police obviously did not handle this well, but I’m leaning toward the kid setting them up.

In his video interview, he says he has made a bunch of electronic devices, but he wanted to make something simple to show his teacher. This wasn’t a school assignment or something a teacher asked him to do. He did it on his own and brought it in on his own to show off what he could do. If he had more complex things already built, why didn’t he bring one of those in to show the teacher? Why build something simple specifically to bring to school to show off when he already had better things built?

It looks like a movie bomb. There are pictures of it. It is in a case like a movie bomb. It has wires running around like a movie bomb. It has a digital clock read-out like a movie bomb. I think most people would say it looks like a movie bomb. He certainly should have recognized that it resembled a movie bomb.

And here’s the real kicker—he did! In his video interview, he says the case has a locking mechanism, but he did not use the lock because he “didn’t want to make it look like a threat” and instead used a cable to close it up “so that it won’t look that much suspicious”. So, before he even took it to school, he knew that the device could, in his own words, “look like a threat” and “look…suspicious” and even took actions because of that. Knowing that the device could appear as dangerous, he took it to school anyway.

He showed it to his engineering teacher, who told him not to show it to any of the teachers at the school. So the teacher also clearly recognized that it looked like a bomb, and more specifically that if he showed it to another teacher it would cause problems.

He brought it to English class in his bag, where the alarm started beeping during class. The English teacher complained about the beeping. He built the device. He knew how it worked. He knew it had an alarm. He knew the alarm would go off during class. Yet, he did not disable the device. He did not even turn off the alarm. So he has a device that he built and knows how to operate that he knows may appear as suspicious or a threat, which he has been told not to show to other teachers, but he sets up the device to set off an alarm during class. I can’t imagine why he would do that unless he wanted to draw attention to the device.

After class, apparently on his own, he shows the device to the English teacher. Why? When this “suspicious” “threat” he was carrying around set off an alarm and still get the teacher to make him show it to her, he goes up and shows it to her himself, despite having been warned earlier that day specifically not to do that. It seems like he really wanted that English teacher to see the device.

When the police asked him about it, it appears he played coy. He would just say it was a clock. According to the police statement, he would not explain his intentions, why he had brought it to school, or any other details. Why didn’t he explain that he was into electronics and had brought it to show his engineering teacher to how what he could do and talk about forming a robotics club or other related issues? Why would he only say “it is a clock”? It sounds like he was trying to make himself appear suspicious.

This was not a neutral family in a neutral environment. His father has run for president of Sudan. His father debated the Florida pastor that was burning the Quran. The town’s mayor has raised issues about Sharia law taking over. When he was taken to the police, he says an officer that he had never seen before made the comment, “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.” If that is true, he has certainly met with discrimination and prejudice in the town before. This is a family active in politics and anti-Muslim demonstrations in a town with anti-Muslim issues.

All of that put together makes it look very much like this was an intentional stunt designed to get a reaction from the school and the police to demonstrate (or give the appearance of) their anti-Muslim prejudice. So far, his stunt has been very successful.
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Old 17th September 2015, 12:19 AM   #156
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That's a quality conspiracy theory. Professional muslim victims trolling the hapless school and police officers.
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Old 17th September 2015, 12:42 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by quixotecoyote View Post
That's a quality conspiracy theory. Professional muslim victims trolling the hapless school and police officers.
I recognize that I have a peculiar bent to come up with conspiracy theories. I don’t trust myself much on those theories. It is just a matter of considering all angles. Maybe I have played too much Forum Mafia.

So, where does my CT fail?

I don’t see any reason someone in his position wouldn’t think, “I’ve had enough of these stupid anti-Muslim knuckleheads. I bet if I brought one of my electronics things into school they would think it a terrorist bomb. Wait—maybe I should do something like that and expose them for how ridiculous they are!” Doesn’t seem unlikely to me. And it fits the inconsistencies of the story. So…maybe.

I guess what really threw me was him talking about using the cable to close the case so that it wouldn’t look “like a threat” or “look that much suspicious.” That says he knew what it looks like. And practically pushing it in a teachers face when told not to show it at all. That says he knew the reaction he would get. That starts me down the path that he was trying to get the reaction he did—and the rest seems to fall into place with that.

I’m not saying it was necessarily wrong. It looks like the town, the school, and the police have some bad attitudes and prejudices that should be exposed. But it still seems like a set up. Maybe?
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Old 17th September 2015, 12:50 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
It looks like a movie bomb. There are pictures of it. It is in a case like a movie bomb. It has wires running around like a movie bomb. It has a digital clock read-out like a movie bomb. I think most people would say it looks like a movie bomb. He certainly should have recognized that it resembled a movie bomb.
Funny thing, I Googled images of "Movie Bomb", "Suitcase Bomb" and "Briefcase Bomb" (yeah I'll be on the NSA's hit list now) and you know what, none of the resulting images looked at all like Ahmed's clock.

I'd love to see someone find this "movie bomb" it is supposed to resemble.
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Old 17th September 2015, 01:15 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Funny thing, I Googled images of "Movie Bomb", "Suitcase Bomb" and "Briefcase Bomb" (yeah I'll be on the NSA's hit list now) and you know what, none of the resulting images looked at all like Ahmed's clock.

I'd love to see someone find this "movie bomb" it is supposed to resemble.
I had done the same thing, and found it surprising. The clock has the “bomb” elements that I think of: metal/hard case, circuit board, buncha wires, digital clock read-out. But it seems my (and perhaps the general) conception of what a movie bomb looks like is not, in fact, what a movie bomb actually looks like. It’s odd.

It still looks like what I (and I think many people) think a movie prop bomb looks like. Or at least the precursors thereof, which is what it was accused of being.

So maybe it doesn’t actually look like an actual movie bomb. But I think it certainly looks like the perception of a movie bomb--enough so that the kid himself says he took precautions because he thought it might look like “a threat” or “suspicious”, and an engineering teacher warned him not to show it to other teachers.
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Old 17th September 2015, 02:56 AM   #160
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Wonder what would have happened if he'd turned up at the White House with his clock (prior to Barry's invitation).
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