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‘Clock Boy’ defamation suit against Glenn Beck, others dismissed

Ahmed Mohamed shows the clock he built in a school pencil box to reporters after a news conference in Dallas, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. The family of Ahmed Mohamed, who was arrested after bringing the homemade clock to school, and charged with having a hoax bomb, later filed a federal lawsuit against Texas school officials and others, saying they violated the 14-year-old boy's civil rights. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A district court judge in Dallas, Texas, has dismissed Mohamed Mohamed's defamation lawsuit against conservative radio host Glenn Beck filed on behalf of himself and his 15-year-old son, Ahmed Mohamed.

In 2015, the teenager became known as the infamous "Clock Boy" when he was arrested at his school in Irving, Texas, for bringing a homemade clock inside a briefcase to school. The clock, which looked suspicious because of its similarity to a briefcase bomb, led to his arrest and three-hour detainment followed by a three-day suspension.

Mohamed filed the defamation suit in September 2016 against conservative radio host Glenn Beck, TheBlaze, and Center for Security Policy Executive Vice President Jim Hanson because of remarks made on television about the incident and about his son.

Appearing on Beck's "The Glenn Beck Program" on TheBlaze TV, Hanson said he believed the clock incident was a publicity stunt.

“It’s a RadioShack clock that he put in a briefcase, and in a briefcase it looks like a bomb,” Hanson said at the time. “They did that to create the exact scenario that played out.”

After a three-hour court hearing on Monday, District Court Judge Maricela Moore dismissed the lawsuit under Texas Anti-SLAPP grounds. Anti-SLAPP law protects certain acts of communication based on free speech rights. Beck, who filed the Anti-SLAPP motion, was awarded attorney fees and court costs for the dismissed case.

Beck’s attorney, Mike Grygiel, said in a statement, "Mr. Beck and TheBlaze are pleased at the Court’s faithful application of controlling First Amendment principles pursuant to the Texas Citizens Participation Act, the very purpose of which is to protect free speech through the summary dismissal of unmeritorious defamation claims."

Hanson also released a statement on the lawsuit dismissal:

This ruling reaffirms our most fundamental liberty — the right to free expression — and punishes Mr. Mohammed and his allies for attempting to suppress ideas they oppose. The Center for Security Policy will continue to stand firm against all attempts by individuals and groups like CAIR that seek through lawfare and other means to prohibit any criticism of totalitarian Islamist doctrine and to brand as Islamophobes those who point out their efforts. Shutting down free speech is anti-constitutional and un-American.
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