Texas

Father of 'clock kid' Ahmed Mohamed sues for defamation

Ahmed Mohamed accepting scholarship for secondary and undergraduate education

 

The father of a Muslim boy arrested after taking a homemade clock to his Dallas-area school has sued conservative commentator Glenn Beck and Irving, Texas, Mayor Beth Van Duyne claiming they and others falsely portrayed the family as terrorists, court documents show.

Mohamed Mohamed filed the defamation lawsuit Sept. 21 in Dallas on behalf of himself and his 14-year-old son, Ahmed.

The suit also names Fox Television Stations and commentators Ben Shapiro and Ben Ferguson as defendants. It cites Shapiro's Oct. 19, 2015, appearance on Fox News' "The Kelly File," in which he said, "The story didn't hold water from the beginning. Within the first 48 hours it was clear that this was a bit of a set-up and it was clear that the story didn't hold together."

The lawsuit also claims Ferguson said, "This was a pre-planned idea by his father," during a Nov. 23, 2015, appearance on Fox 4 News in Dallas.

The lawsuit seeks retractions, a jury trial and unspecified damages.

The teen was arrested in September 2015. A charge of having a hoax bomb was later dropped.

The lawsuit describes the Mohamed family as "peaceful Muslims" falsely accused of being terrorists. The teen said he brought the homemade digital clock to school to show his teacher.

Requests for comment left by the Associated Press for Beck and Van Duyne weren't immediately returned.

The family filed a civil rights lawsuit against Irving city and school officials last month. The Irving Independent School District responded, "Irving ISD employees are focused on welcoming 35,000 students for the 2016-2017 academic year and doing everything possible to ensure each student is achieving his or her maximum potential."

The family has since moved to Qatar, citing threats and a scholarship offered to Ahmed Mohamed in the Persian Gulf country. He returned to the U.S. for the summer to visit family and friends, as well as traveling around the country.

Supporters including President Obama, other political leaders, corporate executives and NASA scientists rushed to his defense after word of the arrest went public.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.