Ahmed’s pencil case
Some reader expressed doubt that the briefcase looking thing that Ahmed put the clock parts into is really a pencil case, but I found it on Amazon.com.
As you can see, with the pens in it to give it a size perspective, it’s a small little thing, and it doesn’t look bomb-sized. After the police questioned Ahmed (because school employees told the police the kid brought a hoax bomb to school), they determined that he had no intent to hoax anyone, and they let him go. So the police back up the story that it wasn’t a hoax bomb.
Some Ahmed haters have proposed the idea that the LED clock gadget was a diabolical plan by Ahmed’s dad to get Ahmed arrested so that they could milk it for huge publicity, and the gadget was ingeniously designed to look enough like a bomb to get the police involved, but not enough like a bomb so that they would have “plausible deniability” and not wind up in prison for creating a genuine hoax bomb (which sounds sort of like an oxymoron). That story violates the Occam’s Razor principle because it’s too damn complicated. The much simpler story is that Ahmed is a nerdy kid who likes to tinker with old consumer electronics who wanted attention from his teachers.
From the perspective of Ahmed’s dad, the incident was one of serendipity. Once it happened, the father who is an Islamic activist, did know how to milk it for huge publicity.