Last week, GOP leaders including Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Sarah Palin attended a rally hosted by Frank Gaffney, the head of the Center for Security Policy and an unabashed anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist.
Gaffney reacted today to the controversy over the arrest of Texas 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, who brought a homemade clock to school to show off to his teachers, by claiming that police and school officials were right to be suspicious of the Muslim student:
Gaffney claims that Ahmed should have answered the police’s absurd questions about what he could possibly be doing with a clock. Here’s how Dallas-Fort Worth’s WFAA s ummarized the case against the ninth grader:
Officers said Ahmed was being "passive aggressive" in his answers to their questions, and didn't have a "reasonable answer" as to what he was doing with the case. Investigators said the student told them that it was just a clock that he was messing around with.
"We attempted to question the juvenile about what it was and he would simply only say it was a clock. He didn't offer any explanation as to what it was for, why he created this device, why he brought it to school," said James McLellan, Irving Police.
Police confiscated the case along with Ahmed's tablet computer.
In addition to calling police, Ahmed said the principal suspended him for three days.
The police apparently refused to believe that maybe Ahmed’s clock was just that, a clock, and were convinced that there must be some nefarious reason why a student who has taken an interest in engineering would build a clock to show his engineering teacher.
Irving, Texas, where Ahmed was arrested, is led by a mayor who became a hero to anti-Muslim activists like Gaffney when she courageously stood up to a non-existent plot to establish a Sharia court in the city.
Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy gave the mayor an award for her brave fight for freedom.
UPDATE: Lee Fang notes that Gaffney and Jim Hanson of the Center for Security Policy have continued to make absurd claims about the case:
The Center for Security Policy, a think tank that routinely partners with prominent Republican politicians, including many of the current presidential contenders, is defending the arrest of 14-year-old Muslim high school student Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school.
Americans across the country expressed outrage at the news that Mohamed was handcuffed by police officers in Irving, Texas, on Monday, suspended from his high school, and accused of making a bomb after the electronic components he had connected to make his own digital clock beeped during English class.
But Center for Security Policy vice president Jim Hanson argued on his organization’s podcast that the clock “looks exactly like a number of IED triggers that were produced by the Iranians and used to kill U.S. troops in the war in Iraq.” He said the clock “was half a bomb.”
Frank Gaffney, the center’s founder and president, agreed with Hanson, while suggesting that there is reason to be suspicious of “what we’re told was a clock” because “the story is not being fully explored and explained.”
Gaffney also said that the entire controversy over Mohamed’s clock appeared to be an “influence operation” by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group that Gaffney claimed is using “professional victim-promoting” to wage a “civilization jihad” in connection with the Muslim Brotherhood.