The Internet Stands with Ahmed

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After police in Irving, Texas arrested 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamad Monday for bringing what they thought was a bomb, but was actually just a clock, to school, internet outrage ensued (justifiably so). Now, I am not generally the biggest fan of widespread social media reactions to very specific events, but this time around there was a genuinely encouraging response–ranging from celebrities to President Obama.

Shortly after the news of Ahmed Mohamad’s arrest, #IStandWithAhmed began trending on Twitter:

At its peak, there were around 2,000 tweets per minute supporting Ahmed. And eventually, he got some pretty high-profile attention.

One of the first politicians to address what happened to Ahmed was Hillary Clinton, who encouraged him to follow his passion and warned against prejudiced assumptions.

Arguably the most popular tweet came from none other than President Obama himself, in which he invited Ahmed to the White House and encouraged him to keep following his passion.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Mohamad’s arrest was also trending on Facebook–so much so that the company’s founder made a show of support for the 14-year-old. Mark Zuckerberg criticized the arrest and extended another invitation to Ahmed, this time to Facebook’s headquarters. His post said:

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

Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed.

Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building.

Twitter later got into the mix, offering Ahmed an internship:

Ahmed, who was wearing a NASA shirt on the day he was arrested, got an outpouring of support from several NASA workers.

Bob Ferdowski, a popular NASA engineer, tweeted:

Mike Seibert, the Flight Director for the Mars Rover, said:

Dr. Fred Calef III, the “keeper of the maps” at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) said:

He later tweeted:

When the day was over, Ahmed had received an outpouring of support from all over the internet, but the most sincere seemed to come from the group of NASA engineers at the Jet Propulsion Lab. From Mike Seibert’s series of tweets, to Dr. Calif’s impassioned defense of Ahmed, you can tell their support is truly genuine.

Kevin Rizzo
Kevin Rizzo is the Crime in America Editor at Law Street Media. An Ohio Native, the George Washington University graduate is a founding member of the company. Contact Kevin at



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