The whole thing was INTENDED to be discriminatory. I can just imagine the father saying "This ought to panic them because you are Muslim."
The reason that I say this? Sorry, but the kid did NOT make a clock. Not even close. He took a commercial clock, removed it from it's case, and put it in a briefcase. Period. I am not sure that the kid learned anything scientific except maybe pain associated with not touching the primary inputs on a 120V transformer.
Here is a link where some engineer was able to identify the MODEL of the clock that was taken apart.