That Ahmed’s clock vs suitcase bomb meme? It’s more fake “news.”

So Ahmed Mohamed made a clock that wasn’t a bomb. Then, someone with intent to defame the kid created a meme of Ahmed’s clock and “an actual suitcase bomb.”

The problem is this: Ahmed’s clock wasn’t a bomb, and the “actual suitcase bomb” isn’t a bomb either.

The only similarities between the two are a bunch wires, computer boards, and power cords. Because every “movie bomb” has a power cord.

Conspicuously missing from each photo is C4, blasting caps, dynamite, nitro glycerin, or gunpowder. The stuff that goes “BOOM.”

TRN graphic

How do we know the meme is not a legitimate comparison? Because the image on the right is of a Honeywell demo case. In 2007, an author at Symbiotic Publishing chronicled his trip to Malta and said,

I assume that if you buy a ticket at the last minute in Frankfurt traveling alone to a foreign location that you get a little extra attention from the Bundespolizei.  I just hope that they will have all the the time they need to search my bag and still get it on the flight.  I’m also happy I didn’t bring the Honeywell demo kit with me it since it is full of electronics and switches and I’m sure it would have raised some questions. [Emphasis mine.]

The section included this photo tagged “Malta, photos, suitcase”:

Here’s another configuration of that same case.

Ahmed’s pencil case is 8.5 x 5.5 x 2.5 inches as determined by this writer who reverse engineered the clock. (He’s no defender of Ahmed, but proves all the parts are clock-related since they came from another clock.) Scaling from the size of the Novell tag and travel tags on the demo case handle, it’s easy to see a width of 16-18 inches, a depth of 4-5 inches and 10-12 inches from hinges to clasps. These cases are not remotely the same size.

And, neither are bombs. The meme is erroneous where it matters most, and that fact may reveal the intent of its creator.

Thanks for reading and sharing. Don’t forget to subscribe to email alerts at the top of the sidebar.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Non Human

    Perhaps you should take a look at this then…

    http://www.popularairsoft.com/news/airsoft-mock-suitcase-time-bomb

    • martyduren

      Ok. I did.

      What’s your point?

      • craigvan

        The point is obvious.
        It’s not unreasonable to consider Ahmed’s “clock” to be a suspect hoax bomb, which explains why it was investigated.
        People don’t want to admit that their first instinct about this story was wrong. And the respond by playing dumb.

    • Edeiwmurk Nivek

      Your argument is an airsoft toy? Really?

      You do realize that toy was consciously designed to match people’s stupid, cartoon-based ideas of what a bomb looks like, right?

  • Daily Gut Check

    You are very ignorant of reality, instead presenting pseudo-intellectualism as fact.

    Another configuration? Those two cases are NOT the same case.Where is your proof that they are the same, or even similar?

    It is very possible some good Leftist actually put that meme together, knowing it would be discredited.

    • Charlie

      Perhaps the right-wingers should have discredited it themselves rather than share it, if that paranoia were true, anyway.

      • Daily Gut Check

        Really? How is it paranoid? You are suggesting it is entirely outside the realm of possibility?

        However, one realizes that the public does what the public does and things spread quickly– Including memes. Nobody controls 350 million people. Any other dumb comments you want to make?

        • Charlie

          If I wanted to make a dumb comment, I would assume that this meme, which many conservatives are spreading and believing without doing any bit of research, was made by someone else. Perhaps if conservatives didn’t spread and believe it so easily, your conspiracy theory may make a lick of sense, but they’re the ones spreading it hook, line and sinker.

          The simplest answer is most likely correct: some xenophobe was being dishonest because he doesn’t like Muslim people, so the ends justified the means, even if it meant a picture of a non-bomb.

        • Daily Gut Check

          Naturally, Leftist shills like you aren’t spreading it because it goes against your anti-American agenda shared with our loser president, Obama.

          LOL!! You mean the simplest answer to a Leftist shill with an agenda to divide the country.

        • Charlie

          That wouldn’t be the simplest answer because that would imply that the leftist would be smarter than the right-winger since the right-winger couldn’t use critical thinking to do a wee bit of research before sharing this meme en masse.

          You seem to showcase that last sentence. “LOL!!” I love it when people all-cap their lols to pretend as if they’re not steaming behind their keyboard.

        • Daily Gut Check

          Steaming at what? You? Sounds like some kind of masturbatory fantasty you are sharing inappropriately online.

          No, I’m laughing at Charlie the clown.

        • Charlie

          No need to pretend that you’re laughing; you’re steaming that you’ve now realized you’ve called conservatives dumb for falling for a supposed “leftist” picture. I’m running circles around you.

        • Daily Gut Check

          Yawn. If you say so.

        • Charlie

          Hey, you’re the one who said it, not me.

        • Daily Gut Check

          No accounting for how mentally deranged people will read their own insanity into things. Charlie Manson blamed the Beatle’s “White Album” for his criminal acts– You think your goofy comments and masturbatory fantasies here mean something.

          On another note, where can I read your manifesto? Is it online?

        • Charlie

          Hey, if conservatives are willing to fall for an easily disproved meme, it’s you who is not giving them much credit, not me.

        • Daily Gut Check

          Do you think you will color your hair bright orange like James Holmes did when you go full kookoo too?

          Again, where can I read your manifesto? Or have you not pout it online yet?

        • Charlie

          How do you pout something online? Just wondering as you figure out why you think conservatives are unintelligent.

        • Daily Gut Check

          So yes, bright orange? Or another color?

        • Charlie

          Still mad that you didn’t realize you called conservatives stupid, huh?

        • Daily Gut Check

          Why do you keep writing creepy things and then once I respond, you quickly change it?

          Tell me again at what age you started torturing and killing small animals? And you keep mementos at a shrine, you say? Out in the woods?

        • Charlie

          “Why do you keep writing creepy things” Classic projection. I’m watching a mental breakdown at work.

        • Daily Gut Check

          Hunh?

        • Charlie

          Don’t know what projection means, eh? That’s okay: you’ve already inadvertently called conservatives dumb, so maybe that’s to be expected.

        • Daily Gut Check

          How can you stay up 3 days in a row, with no sleep, and heavy vodka and pills?

        • Charlie

          Keep digging that hole.

  • Daily Gut Check

    More importantly, did you bother to read the article where that photo was found???

    The guy is talking about going through an airport in German, specifically saying he was glad he hadn’t brought the Honeywell Demo Kit…

    “I’m also happy I didn’t bring
    the
    Honeywell demo kit with me it since it is full of electronics and
    switches and I’m
    sure it would have raised some questions.”

    • martyduren

      Did I read all 2,500 words of his travel journal? No. Did I read the relevant portion? Yes. That’s how I found out the photo isn’t a suitcase bomb. My post isn’t about traveling through airport security with a Honeywell demo kit. It’s about whether the photo is a suitcase bomb. It isn’t.

      As to your speculation about the meme’s creator: evidence, please.

      • Daily Gut Check

        Evidence? Get real, friend, how would one ever do that? The fact that something is not provable does not mean it did not happen, and certainly what I speculated it is not outside the realm of possibility given the current powerful players, with agendas, involved in this event.

        And as you note, I was speculating, and not presenting hard facts.

        My point was that the author indicates his concerns that the device might look suspicious to professional screeners at airport security, Many claim , particularly those on the Left, that Ahmeds “clock” could never be confused as a bomb.

        Also, as people often grab photos from other websites, for their own sites or uses, it is certainly possible that someone else presented the picture as a suitcase bomb and the mem creator did not bother to check it out.

        Finally, neither of can say with any certainty who created that meme or what their political affiliation is.

  • Pierino Forno

    You are missing the point, Marty. We all know the clock was not a bomb, but the point is that it was meant to look like one, or at least like the Hollywood template for a bomb. You quoted the guy travelling to Malta as saying “I’m also happy I didn’t bring the Honeywell demo kit with me it since it is full of electronics and switches and I’m sure it would have raised some questions.” Why was he happy? Because it looked suspicious. The point is not that the Honeywell demo kit was a bomb, but that it was sufficiently reminiscent of one to cause him problems at the airport.
    Now this kid Ahmed claims he built a clock. Why on Earth would one build a clock that cannot be seen unless the case containing it is opened? Why use a case that looks like a briefcase? Why leave the transformer and wires exposed, thus making the manipulation of the “clock” risky?

    To me it is obvious that the kid wanted to make others believe he had a bomb in the case, though I won’t speculate on his motives.

    • Charlie

      It didn’t look like a briefcase; you think that because you’ve only seen pictures. The dimensions are the size of a pencil box, which is what it is. And furthermore, he told everyone and their mother it was a clock.

      This gets away from the fact that he wasn’t arrested for bringing in a bomb; he was arrested for a “bomb hoax” despite no evidence to it, plus one of the officers said something along the lines of, “Just who I thought it was.” If they thought it were a bomb, there would have been a bomb squad; the point was after finding out it wasn’t a bomb, they grilled him for the “bomb hoax.” But this meme not only gets the basis of the story wrong, it also gets the right picture wrong. So if anyone is missing the point, it’s the meme’s creator.

      • Daily Gut Check

        Whatever your point, regardless of size, those same electronics and
        about $25 dollars of available materials could create an actual b0mb in that exact case. Would it bring a building down? No. Could it seriously injure and k!ll people? Yes.

        As we have seen in other scenarios, such as Columbine, people sometimes work in teams to create large scale violence. As this pencil box of electronics could effectively serves as a b0mb timer, authorities probably want to make sure the other half of the equation is not sitting somewhere, Or that there may be additional, fully built, timed expl0sives sitting somewhere.

        Further, as kids occasionally bring odd items to school that belong to their parents, s3x toys, someone brought a functional training grenade, guns, knives, and drugs… for all authorities knew, Ahmed got this from a parent or other family member. Certainly, questions must be asked.

        • Charlie

          All that is useless info as the school did NOT think it was a bomb.

        • Daily Gut Check

          LOL!!! No, in fact it is the crux of the matter, but why would I expect a retarded Lefitst to have any critical thinking.

          Go take some Midol, you’ll feel better.

        • Charlie

          I always love internet comments section: the minute the facts don’t add up, people get so mad.

          Please show me where the school actually thought it was a bomb considering they arrested him for a bomb hoax and didn’t evacuate the school. I’ll wait. ;)

        • Daily Gut Check

          Good point, you should consider some anger management instead of spilling your guts about it online to strangers.

          And that Midol will help with your menstrual cramps, I here from women it works good.

          Again, you have a serious reading comprehension problem as you entirely misstate my position. Maybe get an adult to read it to you and explain it, that way you won’t look so retarded.

        • Charlie

          Wait, your first sentence was, “I know you are but what am I?” Nice irony considering the “get an adult” comment later.

          I am seriously impressed with myself with how much anger I’ve gotten out of you and how you misspelled “hear.”

        • Daily Gut Check

          Oh well.

        • Charlie

          =)

      • dan prater

        That’s BC he knows who his father is.

      • dbergerac

        The bombs used by the unabomber were generally small and NEVER made to look like bombs. The unabomber wanted to put his victims at ease. This clock/bomb was intended to make someone ( not everyone ) uncomfortable. No one claims he made a real bomb, just a real bomb hoax.

      • craigvan

        You’re missing his point.

        The police knew it wasn’t a bomb. The kid was investigated for possibly having a hoax bomb. And his strange behavior made that a reasonable suspicion.

        It’s just really dishonest of people to spin this story as some sort of human rights violation. “Just who I thought it was.” Implies that the cop knew the kid and/or his family and considered them troublemakers. The kid had been suspended several times before and his sister suspended for a bomb threat. For all we know that was the arresting black cop.

        • Charlie

          It’s kind of hard for me to have missed that point when I said: “This gets away from the fact that he wasn’t arrested for bringing in a bomb; he was arrested for a “bomb hoax” despite no evidence to it”

    • martyduren

      Pierino-
      This case is exactly and only 1/4″ smaller than Ahmed’s case in every dimension. I took this photo with the dollar bill for scale. Are you actually arguing he intended to convince people he’d made some kind of bomb?

      • Daily Gut Check

        Well, he did concern at least one teacher, right?

        Apparently, you think the size of the box, or its appearance, means it could not be a bomb. That is absolutely false. I work with electronics and I have worked around people Federally licensed to handle explosives. It wouldn’t take down a building but it could seriously injure or kill people.

        Finally, if someone jumped up in the middle of a flight, holding this device open and shouting,,, “I have a bomb” you and everyone else would cr@p their drawers.

        • Ego

          I have read every single one of your responses and each one is more absurd than the last. First of all you haven’t shown credible proof that the said pencil box could be used as transport for the bomb. Second, if you do in fact work with people “Federally licensed to handle explosives.” the dead ringer for you would be that bombs don’t need timers to detonate rendering the function of the clock unnecessary and cosmetic in the function of a bomb, a throwaway cell phone would easily suffice in the interest of detonation. Lastly I wonder how you could explain how many grams of explosive material and what kind would not only be readily available to a 14 year old boy but also be enough to cause fatal harm to someone when the box itself has even more limited space of an already limited 8.5 x 5.5 inches, not to mention having to arm it and power it using a plug? I don’t ever remember hearing about bombs with timers other than in the movies or tv shows, it’s blatantly obvious where you get your sources from.

        • Daily Gut Check

          Yawn. Did you say something?

          Credible proof? I’m sorry, is this a court of law? Am I an FBI agent testifying before a jury. You know this is the internet, and any “credible proof” I might present could get me in a bit of trouble.

          From September 11th, 2015:

          “The suspect, 20-year-old Joshua Ryne Goldberg of Orange
          Park, reportedly provided information on how to build a bomb to an FBI
          agent he began communicating with online in July, law enforcement
          authorities said Thursday.

          Goldberg has been charged with “distributing information relating to
          explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction,”
          according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

          Beyond that, you have no idea what you are talking about.

          LOL! Why would you hear “about bombs with timers”. You want to claim such does not exist, is that right?

          Are you aware that the Army published field manuals that include chapters on making IED’s with improvised timers? Apparently not.

        • dbergerac

          There is no need to look like an ACTUAL bomb for a bomb hoax, only to
          look similar to the many bombs seen in movies and on TV. I once made a
          UV water sterilizer and all of those wires on the pipe caused everyone
          who saw it to ask if it was a bomb. I even actually designed and built
          it, rather than dismember a harmless looking clock just to make it
          dangerous looking. Certainly his intention was to cause alarm ( even
          though that took several tries ). He did not include the mandatory
          explosives, of course, because that would not involve being suspended
          from school, but enrolled in prison. Much of my behavior in high school
          revolved around a desire to NOT be suspended, but based upon his
          father’s actions, a suspension or expulsion plays well into the victim
          narrative suitable for a sweet legal settlement.

        • lmath12

          The 14 year old boy’s dad ran for the president of Sudan twice and is a political Muslim activist. The dad also was fined for not paying taxes for one of his activist groups that he leads. The activist group that the dad was fined for is located 25 miles from the school where the kid brought the hoax bomb to. Speculations were made that the dad was trying to somehow get revenge for it. Being that Ahmed didn’t even invent anything, just used the guts of an old 1970’s clock from Radio Shack, it seemed clear to some people that the hoax bomb was brought in to incite a reaction from school officials. Ahmed was told by his science teacher to not show it to anyone else for obvious reasons. The kid didn’t listen and kept showing it until he got the reaction he and his dad wanted. Ahmed set it to go off during his English Class which is when the teacher at that point had to make the Principal aware, etc. Also, his sister had been expelled for making a bomb threat at the school a few years earlier. There seems to be a common thread there with this family. It’s a shame because it’s people like Ahmed and his family that give the rest of Muslims (who many are actually nice, law abiding citizens), a bad name by perpetuating terror in the school and other public places. It was also noted in the investigation that Ahmed was being very passive aggressive when he was questioned by the police and school authorities. Hopefully, Obama and MIT won’t reward this kid now that the truth has been revealed. There are many talented, bright kids who actually do invent clocks that actually do deserve to be rewarded.

      • dbergerac

        That box is sure bigger than the “dye bombs” that banks put in bundles of cash. And much bigger than some of the unabomber’s deadly bombs. Anyone knows that carrying a REAL briefcase to school will get you pushed into a locker.

  • Kuff

    How do you explain the label next to the magnetic latch along the rim of the case that says “CHARGE DEMOLITION M112” along with a lot number and date?

    • Rob Klein

      A joke on the owner’s part, maybe he reused an old military case? Doesn’t matter. It’s a Honeywell security sales demo unit. No getting around that. That sticker isn’t on a block of c4. Why would a bomb need an ethernet port or a power cord (Like in Naked Gun 2.5!) :)

      • Kuff

        And a joke bomb on a plane is considered….what?

    • Matthew Leo

      I noticed this too: if it is what it purports to be it is a US military block of C4 that has been molded into the case. However there is no apparent connection to the circuit; no blasting cap or initiator is visible, although perhaps that might be obscured by the case. There are no BBs or nails or anything else to produce shrapnel. However this circuit doesn’t really make sense as a time bomb; what are all the switches and terminal blocks supposedly for? Why the Ethernet daughter card? Most importantly as far as I can determine nobody spreading this meme has a provenance for it. It could be a hoax bomb, or a movie prop, or something else that has been booby-trapped.

      • Kuff

        Oh, yes. I am definitely not claiming that it’s a bomb. At best it’s a joke bomb, or a hoax-bomb. Or a movie prop, as you said. One thing for certain…I wouldn’t want to get caught with that on a plane. And I highly doubt the blogger even noticed, or he should have mentioned it. So, we know he didn’t read his source, but he also didn’t study the picture. He wasted his time writing this, and we all wasted our time reading it.

        • Adam Courchaine

          The writer who owns the demo kit is ex-military, the sticker is part of the mylar wrap that’s around a 1.25 pound block of C-4 with built in blasting cap, but has been cut out and stuck on to the rim. If he took this on to a plane he’d never make it on board / would be arrested lol

          At the end of it all, the image serves a dual purpose that most seem to not comprehend. The vast majority of people claiming that this was an innocent thing miss some major points. Removing 4 screws and putting the guts of a clock you bought in to a pencil case shouldn’t impress anyone. The clock has a battery backup and he set the alarm to go off during his english class – after he showed it to his tech teacher. when presented with this image many say “Well as a layman I can tell the left one isn’t a bomb” – but the right obviously isn’t a bomb either, and their inability to grasp that demonstrates the full incompetence of the laymen to identify explosives. The teachers did not think this was a real explosive, but a hoax, which is nearly as bad in the eyes of administration. ‘Stand up and flail your arms on a plane for no reason and let us know how that goes’ kind of thing. If it can potentially be used to incite fear or panic then it is not allowed… pop-tart gun people… pop-tart gun.

        • Daily Gut Check

          Ahmed apparently admitted in a TV interview that he did plug the clock in and set the alarm to go off in class, Seems pretty deliberate:

          Ahmed’s sister was expelled from school for a bomb threat years earlier:

          http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/23/ahmeds-sister-admits-school-suspension-alleged-bomb-threat-3-years-earlier/

    • craigvan

      Most likely this is detonator for commercial explosives, used in mining and construction.
      Someone who drives a bulldozer for road work might have a permit for dynamite. And it is detonated with a battery powered suitcase device, which sends a charge to blasting caps taped to the end of sticks of dynamite.

  • Daily Gut Check

    And your thoughts on this meme?

    streetcarnage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/CPL3K-mXAAIh3UU.jpg-large.jpeg

  • 1956cyndi

    when kids are punished for pointing food at anyone (OBVIOUSLY can’t hurt), then a clock kit stuck in a suitcase looks FAR more as possibly dangerous. ALL such actions on the kids are too much, but consistent with the zero tolerance libs support. Rewarding the kid with a trip to the WH was bogus

  • Daily Gut Check

    Explain this:

    Ahmed apparently admitted in a TV interview that he did plug the clock
    in and set the alarm to go off in class, Seems pretty deliberate:

    Ahmed’s sister was expelled from school for a bomb threat years earlier:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/23/ahmeds-sister-admits-school-suspension-alleged-bomb-threat-3-years-earlier/

  • dbergerac

    There is no need to look like an ACTUAL bomb for a bomb hoax, only to look similar to the many bombs seen in movies and on TV. I once made a UV water sterilizer and all of those wires on the pipe caused everyone who saw it to ask if it was a bomb. I even actually designed and built it, rather than dismember a harmless looking clock just to make it dangerous looking. Certainly his intention was to cause alarm ( even though that took several tries ). He did not include the mandatory explosives, of course, because that would not involve being suspended from school, but enrolled in prison. Much of my behavior in high school revolved around a desire to NOT be suspended, but based upon his father’s actions, a suspension or expulsion plays well into the victim narrative suitable for a sweet legal settlement.

  • Kevin Murphy

    The intent of the meme is to smear a child they are jealous/ scared of. Pretty sad.

  • craigvan

    Ahmed Muhammad wasn’t arrested for having a bomb. He was arrested for having a hoax bomb. To make a hoax bomb one has to make something that people will believe is a bomb. An his creation does look like a movie prop bomb.

  • flookie

    At what point was the pencil case opened? The contents aren’t obvious with the lid closed and I doubt that a powercable was attached if it was in his backpack.

  • Spanner1960

    I also saw this and laughed.
    Why would a “bomb” have so much electronics and facia indicators? And there’s no room for any explosives.