US & Canada

Ahmed Mohamed: Well wishes continue for US 'clock boy'

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, left, and his father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, thank supporters during a news conference at their home, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested Monday after a teacher thought a homemade clock he built was a bomb. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade) Image copyright AP
Image caption Ahmed Mohamed (left) hopes to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology one day

A 14-year-old Muslim boy arrested in Texas for bringing a homemade clock to school has continued to receive an outpouring of support from scientists, politicians and celebrities.

Ahmed Mohamed has been invited to visit Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by a professor who called him an "ideal student".

He also told ABC News he will accept an invitation to the White House.

His arrest was sharply criticised and the charges against him were dropped.

Ahmed hopes to one day attend MIT, one of the top engineering universities in the US. He told ABC he was more excited about the MIT tour than the White House invitation.

Some of the biggest names in the world of science have welcomed Ahmed with open arms.

Nasa, Google Science Fair, Space Camp USA and astronaut Chris Hadfield were among those applauding him for his ingenuity.

Officials at MacArthur High School in Irving alerted police because they thought the device Ahmed built was a "hoax bomb".

In a news conference on Wednesday, Ahmed said he plans to transfer schools.

He told reporters it was "very sad" that his teacher thought his clock was a threat.

"I built a clock to impress my teacher but when I showed it to her she thought it was a threat to her. I'm very sad that she got the wrong impression of it."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Irving Police Department provided this photo of the homemade clock

Ahmed's father Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who is originally from Sudan, praised his son's ingenuity, saying he fixes everything around the house, including his father's phone and computer.

"He's a very smart, brilliant boy and he said he just wanted to show himself to the world," he said.

The police have rejected the claim made by Ahmed's family that he was detained because of his name.

"We have always had an outstanding relationship with the Muslim community," Irving Police Department chief Larry Boyd said on Wednesday.

"Incidents like this present challenges. We want to learn how we can move forward and turn this into a positive," Mr Boyd added.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says it is investigating the incident.

Under the hashtag #IstandwithAhmed, thousands of Twitter users - including Nasa scientists, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and US President Barack Obama - praised the boy's initiative and questioned why he was detained.

"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," Mr Obama wrote on Twitter.

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