“Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed,” Zuckerberg said on Facebook.
“Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building,” Zuckerberg added.
The 14-year-old robotics enthusiast was taken to a juvenile detention centre and suspended from Irving McArthur High School.
Ahmed, however, explained he had made a clock and brought the device to school to show his engineering teacher.
It was during English class that a teacher noticed the clock and immediately reported Ahmed to authorities.
“She was like, it looks like a bomb,” Ahmed told Dallas News, adding: “It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.”
Mohamed was later taken out of class by the principal and questioned by five police officers, who demanded to know his intentions and why he brought the device to school. He was reportedly taken from the school premises in handcuffs to the juvenile centre.
Police spokesperson James McLellan said: “It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. The concern was, what was this thing built for? Do we take him into custody?”
Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, said he believed his son’s ethnicity may have contributed to the perception that the device was a bomb. “He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” he said. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”