Appeals Court: Dismissal of Clock Boy’s Defamation Lawsuit Affirmed; Award of AFLC Lawyers’ Fees Affirmed

AFLC_ClockBoyDallas, Texas (July 11, 2018) – Late today, the Texas Court of Appeals for the Fifth District in Dallas affirmed the trial court’s ruling dismissing in its entirety a defamation lawsuit filed by Mohamed Mohamed on his own behalf and on behalf of his 15-year old son, Ahmed Mohamed.  Ahmed is better known as “Clock Boy” for bringing a hoax clock bomb to his Irving, Texas middle school in September 2015 and causing a bomb scare that led to his arrest and suspension from school.

The motion to dismiss was filed by lawyers from the American Freedom Law Center (“AFLC”) and local counsel Pete Rowe on behalf of the Center for Security Policy (“CSP”) and Jim Hanson, two of the defendants in the defamation case, which also named as defendants Ben Shapiro, the local Fox affiliate, Glenn Beck, and Beck’s production company.  All claims against all defendants were ultimately dismissed.  AFLC (and Mr. Rowe) also represented CSP and Hanson on the appeal.  The appeals court not only affirmed the dismissal but affirmed the award of nearly $200,000 for attorney’s fees and costs, including AFLC’s $67,238.50 in legal fees at the trial level and $130,000 in conditional legal fees for the appellate work.

Mohamed had sued Hanson and CSP for statements Hanson had made on Beck’s program about the connection between the Clock Boy hoax bomb affair and the attendant media frenzy created in large part by his father Mohamed, and how this was all part of civilization jihad driven by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”), the Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group in the United States that promotes civilization jihad through lawsuits.

The Texas appeals court specifically ruled that Mohamed had not made out a case for defamation because CSP and Hanson had based their statements in large part on the involvement of CAIR, which the court noted, quoting first Shapiro and then Hanson, was “an organization . . . the federal government had linked to Islamic terrorist supporters as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism case.”  The court also noted that “CAIR is known to be an Islamist organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.”

Following the appeals court ruling, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel David Yerushalmi explained:

“The purpose of this CAIR-driven lawsuit was to intimidate into silence those who might comment publicly on the connection between jihad, terrorism, sharia, and Islam.”

Yerushalmi added,

“This case was a classic Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or ‘SLAPP’ case and should never have been filed.  The Texas courts have confirmed this once and for all.”

Robert Muise, AFLC’s other co-founder and senior counsel, made clear:

“AFLC was formed in large measure to take on Islamists like CAIR who use and abuse the legal system with their cynical form of lawfare to undermine our constitutional liberties—notably free speech.  We have confronted these lawsuits across the country in federal and state courts and have defeated CAIR and its minions at every turn.  When appropriate, we have won sanctions.  This lawsuit has proven to be no different.  We will continue to confront CAIR and other Islamists organizations in any and all legal fora.”