Attempts to sell “Ahmed the Clock Boy” as just another geeky teenager from Texas who happened to bring a ‘clock’ to school that looked just like a suitcase bomb are getting tougher and tougher to sell. Why?
Because lots of teens travel to Khartoum (capital of Sudan), visit and pose for pictures with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Al-Bashir is widely known in the intelligence community as “the Butcher of Darfur” and to this day is wanted for war crimes for his part in orchestrating the genocide in Darfur (wherein some 400,000+ have been slaughtered.)
Al-Bashir received Ahmed and his father at his private presidential residence, …because, well,…that happens. Reports are that the Sudanese president praised the boy for his intelligence and talent. Ahmed told reporters he was “extremely delighted” to meet al-Bashir and said he hoped to visit the Sudanese dictator again “with a new invention and success,” the Sudan Tribune reported. Ahmed also met with ‘students’ in Qatar and traveled to Mecca with his family for umrah, or pilgrimage.
Al-Bashir (who does have an outstanding warrant from the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity) has ruled Sudan unchallenged for 26 years. His country served as a sanctuary to Osama bin Laden and the United States has imposed a variety of sanctions against Sudan, according to the Washington Post.
Of course there’s more story here than what meets the eye. Ahmed posted a slew of images of his Sudan trip on his twitter account describing the visit as a homecoming. He tweeted out, “I am coming home, tell the world I am coming home #sudan” along with several of his pictures. “I am coming home” – to a country that once harbored bin Laden? Wouldn’t you think a kid from Texas traveling around the Middle East would tweet out “I am coming home” on his way back to Texas??! Turns out Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Hassan al-Sufi, has twice run for the presidency of Sudan himself. Still, why would young Ahmed be calling Sudan “home?”Pictures of the boy, his dad, and the Butcher cheesing it up for the camera are everywhere on the internet right now. This same father/son combination will be cheesing it up with the President of the United States in two days when they re-cross an ocean to attend a Muslim gala at the White House on Monday. So from the home of a mass-murderer who embraced the man responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans in a day, to the home of the current President of America. Eh, nothing to see here, folks.
[Note: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn]