Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old teen who built a homemade clock that was mistaken as a bomb at his Texas high school, met with a central African dictator accused of war crimes. He’s also believed to have harbored 9/11 terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
The Washington Post reports that Ahmed met Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum on Wednesday evening. The Post cites the Sudan Tribune in reporting that the teen told reporters that he was “extremely delighted” to meet Bashir and hoped to return to visit the Sudanese president again “with a new invention and success.”
Mohamed met Bashir at his residence, and the dictator praised him by saying that the teen inventor will help “write a new [chapter in] history for an advanced and developed Sudan.”
Bashir has an outstanding arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for allegedly “orchestrating genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.” His country is under a range of U.S. sanctions. For five years in the 1990s, Bashir is reported to have harbored Osama bin Laden. According to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks, the dictator may have quietly stolen $9 billion worth of oil money.
— Ahmed Mohamed (@IStandWithAhmed) October 13, 2015
Shockingly, Ahmed Mohamed’s father — Elhassan Mohamed — ran against Bashir in two presidential elections.
When Elhassan’s name was blocked from appearing on the 2010 ballot, he accused Bashir of removing him from the election, saying, “I was told that Bashir personally intervened with the [appeals] court to reject my challenge.”
Immediately following the clock incident at Ahmed Mohamed’s high school, he was the example of “Islamophobia” in the United States. President Obama invited the student to the White House for an astronomy night, which honors leading scientists; the event is scheduled for this weekend.
Ahmed Mohamed has become a figure of controversy since the clock incident. Days after he was arrested for the misunderstanding by the school district, he was invited by high-ranking officials to be a guest at scheduled events. He drew a legion of supporters because many felt he was wrongfully accused of making a bomb simply because he and his family are Muslims who reside in the United States. It became a hot issue of profiling.
— News (@Tokenizer3) October 16, 2015
School administrators at MacArthur High School said they were following procedures when they reported the freshman for the wiry contraption they observed. Many argued that Ahmed was singled out, but there were others who said pointed out that it could have been a bomb.
As Chron reports, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that what happened to Ahmed Mohamed at school was a “teachable moment.” Ernest says that by inviting Mohamed to the White House, it’s designed to “nurture that intellectual curiosity.”
Within a week after Ahmed’s brief arrest at MacArthur High School, there were reports running that the boy was suspended from school the previous year. Upon further investigation, it was determined that he was suspended over a prank typical kids pull and was suspended over a hallway fight.
As told in the news, Ahmed pranked a room full of students by turning off a projector with a remote control while class was in session. In another instance, he blew bubbles in a restroom with his cousin. In a third instance, he was standing up for himself in a hallway fight and taken to the principal’s office; the decision was overturned.
What do you think of Ahmed Mohamed meeting a dictator that has U.S. sanctions against him? If he has strong ties to Osama bin Laden, it will warrant even further scrutiny of Mohamed’s fame and what it’s turning into.
[Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for Global Goals]