Talk:Haroon Rashid Aswat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Is Infowars really considered a reliable source?

In this case I would say yes, the linked article correctly reports Loftus interview and provide useful context from relevant MSM sources. --Yeslove 21:46, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Exactly.............the word 'AGENT' is clearly the one used in the Fox News segment. Loftus never uses the word informant. At least, the article should read Agent/Informant or as you suggest Operative.

I have a problem with the word 'informant' in this sentence:

"... said that Rashid was in fact an MI6 informant ...".

As a fact Loftus use the following terms 'double agent', 'British intelligence plant' and 'working for british intelligence'.

Being a master mind (the guy who conceive and plan an operation) and at the same time being an informant does not make sense. The bombings supposedly originated from this guy, so it must be assumed that he had complete information. If he was an informant he would have saved himself the trouble of executing the bombings by just telling MI6 about his plans.

Perhaps he did but we just dont know. Then the term 'informant' would be qualified and a new section named 'MI6 foreknowledge' should be added under the 7 July 2005 London bombings page. On the other hand if he did not tell MI6 in advance, then the term 'informant' is misleading, not factual and not qualified.

However changing 'informant' to 'double agent' (a term used by Loftus) together with a link to the corresponding page does not make things less confused. That would mean that Aswat first had been an MI6 agent who then secretly changed loyalties to al-quida without telling MI6.

But this is contradicted by the fact that MI6 continued to protect him against Scotland yard and other organisations after he was exposed as mastermind (the same pattern as when the American Justice department protected him on request of the British when he was wanted for setting upp terrorist training camps in Oregon).

The crucial question is of course if Aswat planned the operation in the capacity of Al-quida operative, or in the capacity of MI6 operative. Common assumptions will of course 'know' that he did so in the al-quida capacity but this conclusion as shown leads to contradictions.

MP and ex-cabinet member Michael Meacher says:,9115,1566919,00.html

"Whether the hunt for those behind the London bombers can prevail against these powerful political forces remains to be seen. Indeed it may depend on whether Scotland Yard, in its attempts to uncover the truth, can prevail over MI6, which is trying to cover its tracks and in practice has every opportunity to operate beyond the law under the cover of national security."

To conclude: Because Aswat was still protected after being exposed as a double agent it seems that the correct term should be 'agent provocateur' or simply 'MI6 operative'.
Any comments?
Yeslove 15:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Thus proving that the British state organised the 7/7 bombings, and that all evil in the world comes from the US & UK Governments! Not quite. The weakest link in this chain is the bit linking Aswat to the bombings themselves - the 20 mobile phone calls etc. have never been verifiably confirmed.--Nmcmurdo 00:30, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Removal per policy on biographies[edit]

I have removed some unsourced, and some unreliably sourced material under our policy on biographies of living people. Please do not restore it without including citations to reliable sources. Tom Harrison Talk 17:17, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Is it possible for you to exercise a lighter touch in your editing? Sources existed for the assertions you excised. The current policy might authorize you to excise material, without looking for sources. But, perhaps you might consider that 23 minutes is a less than sufficient time to allow other wikipedians to look for better references next go around? Geo Swan 17:51, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
You do remember you put this article in protected mode?
You do realize this means regular editors can't address your concerns you raise? Geo Swan 18:18, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I do. I figured it was the lighter solution than blocking you. I'm afraid the material has to be removed until the citation is provided. Some pretty egregious things were said here either without citation, or with citation to unreliable sources. If that happens again, it may be necessary to temporarily suspend editing privileges to prevent it. I hope I can unprotect the page now and expect that our policy on biographies will be followed. Tom Harrison Talk 18:19, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
response to recent excisions
claim excision notes
Subject was an MI6 operative not supported by source cited
  • Was Haroon Rashid Aswat an MI6 operative? I don't know. You probably don't know. And even if we did know it would be counter-policy to make an assertion one way or another, without citing verifiable, authoritative sources.
  • Was Haroon Rashid Aswat accused of being an MI6 operative? I think this is a clearer question.
    • The following link purports to contain the transcript of just such an accusation: London bombings 'mastermind' is a known MI6 agent. Could it be a clever forgery? It is possible, but, personally, I think that is unlikely enough that it would be safe to use, and that this particular excision should be reversed.
  1. Subject's family reported he cut off ties with them years earlier...
  2. Subject entered the UK through Felixstowe weeks befor the bombings.
  3. Subject left the UK through Heathrow hours before the bombings
slanted; uncited
  • Again, neither you or I know whether he traveled through Felixstowe and/or Heathrow shortly before the bombings. But that he was reported to have traveled through Feixstow and Heathrow shortly befoe the bombings is without question. And that it was reported that his UK family asserted they lost touch with him years earlier is also without question.
  • Mike Sullivan. "7/7 'Mr Big' seized". The Sun. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  • Philippe Naughton (July 28, 2005). "Key London bombs suspect arrested in Zambia". Times of London. Retrieved 2007-07-30.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • I wasn't the original author of any of the recently excised passages. I fail to see how this particular passage could merit description as being slanted or uncited, as it is a clear paraphrase from the article's sources.
John Loftus accused MI6 of protecting Subject on Fox News not a reliable source
  1. Is there any doubt that this guy Loftus did make this claim?
  2. Given we find a source we are all satisfied with, is there any reason this claim should not be included in this article?
  3. Well, what about that transcript I found?
Subject's extradition to the USA was approved no such article found in Lexis/Nexis
  • Has his extradition to the USA been approved? There is no serious question that it has.
  • The article cited a Los Angeles Times article, which, as of 19:48, 30 July 2007 (UTC) is 404. So I did a google search on the title, and found what looked like a mirror to that article. Could it have been a clever forgery? Possibly. But who would go to all that trouble?
Subject's ID papers found in Afghanistan Unprotected Haroon Rashid Aswat
  • I agree this assertion should be backed up by a reference.

Anyone can put up a web page that "purports to contain a transcript" accusing anyone of anything. Unless it is a reliable source, it means nothing. We do not collect and aggregate unsubstantiated gossip, or assemble innuendo to support a point. There is absolutely no way we can repeat that unless a reliable source says it.

The story in The Sun includes a lot of constructions like "is said to have," and "was thought to have been." While that does not inspire confidence, we could probably use it to support the statement that "His family say they lost touch with him years ago when he left to fight in Afghanistan." Conceivably we might say something like "According to The Sun, he was thought to have been killed in Afghanistan...". But absent a source for who thought so, any other coverage about it, and any explanation of why that is significant, I don't know why we would. And of course we cannot use the notoriously tendentious construction, "X claims..., however Y notes...".

"Well, what about that transcript I found?" Please remind me where it is hosted, and who says it is an accurate transcript. "Could it have been a clever forgery? Possibly. But who would go to all that trouble?" Lots of people, especially conspiracy theorists. Tom Harrison Talk 20:25, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, I'd really like to take your concerns seriously.
  1. Are you willing to acknowledge that virtually identical versions of the transcript are on web-sites across the political spectrum? Are you willing to acknowledge that virtually identical video versions of the interview are available on web-sites across the political spectrum? Some sites have both the transcript, and the video:
  2. Okay, about the Sun article -- just to be clear -- are you now acknowledging that the Sun article did, in fact back up some of the assertions you excised?
    • Are your objections really to the sources? It sounds as if some of your concerns are merely stylistic.
  3. Did I address your concern that his extradition had been approved?
As I said, I'd really like to take your concerns seriously. It would be helpful if you showed you were taking my points seriously. Geo Swan 01:03, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

In support of his extradition, I could find no such article (by Lexis/Nexis search) in the LA Times or the Times of London. Other sources to support this are available, like this from the BBC.[1]

It's possible the article in The Sun could be used to source something, if suitably qualified. For anything controversial, I would rather see it supported by another source, like a wire service report. In an article about a living person, a construction like "X claims, however Y notes..." is not a stylistic quibble; it is a grossly slanted presentation favoring Y. I would be surprised if you were defending what was there: "Although his family claims that years ago he disappeared to Afghanistan or Pakistan, he was monitored entering Britain at Felixstowe, Suffolk in late June 2005 and then departing via Heathrow hours before the attacks." Further, it was uncited. Certainly the article in The Sun would not support that statement, even if recast in neutral terms. is no more reliable than Conspiracy sites routinely reference and copy each other to form a walled garden. I did a Lexis/Nexis search of Fox News transcripts from 2005-07-26 to 2005-07-31 and found nothing with Loftus. There were 5 that discussed Aswat, none of which said anything about MI-6. Tom Harrison Talk 02:57, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Regarding extradition -- let me get this straight: (1) you acknowledge that the US did try to extradite Aswat? (2) you found sources that support the extradition...
I don't subscribe to Lexis-Nexis. I understand it is expensive. It is clear you have a lot of confidence in it. Perhaps you can explain to the rest of us why you have so much confidence in it, and why this confidence is so strong you are prepared to block me form editing?
I pointed out, when I offered you the two globalresearch links, that it offered video of the interview. I asked you if you thought the video was also a forgery. I think it would have usefully advanced this discussion if you had chosen to address this point.
Your characterization of as a conspiracy site ... is based on what? Geo Swan 11:52, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

For the record[edit]

For the record , User:Tom harrison, an administrator, has stated he will block me from editing, if I add material to the Haroon Rashid Aswat article that he thinks violates his unstated interpretation of WP:BLP. For the record I dispute knowingly breaching WP:BLP, or any other wikipolicy. For the record I think I deserve a clearer, more specific, explanation of where I can find these breaches. For the record I think I deserve a clearer, more specific explanation of what is going to bring me what would be my first edit block.

Since this administrator hasn't been clear about which edits to this article will bring me an edit block I am going to list some quotes, and sources here. The only reason I am not directly adding this material to the article is the concerned administrator's less than clear threats.

For the record it is my opinion that this administrator has considerably overstepped his authority. All of this material had been in the article for months. I am at a loss as to why the administrator is unwilling to trust the normal process of discussing concerns on the talk page, rather than jumping immediately to page protection, and threats of blocking. Even if, for the sake of argument, I am unknowingly violating {{blp}}, or some other wikipolicy, surely the fact that this material existed in the article for months means that this is not an urgent crisis that requires rash action, rather than a dialogue? Geo Swan 02:40, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I have mentioned your concerns and invited review at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Haroon Rashid Aswat. Tom Harrison Talk 02:56, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Without getting into the details of this dispute, (haven't had a chance to look at it), the length of time a violation has existed in an article is not relevant to the decision to remove it. - Crockspot 03:12, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
    • I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. The reason why the length of time the material was in the article is relevant is that User:Tom harrison stated he would block me from editing, as if his concerns were
      1. of such dire urgency he couldn't pause for a civil explanation;
      2. as if his interpretation was above question.
    • Cheers! Geo Swan 03:29, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I think the block was mentioned because you appear to have reverted the material more than once. According to WP:BLP, repeated reinsertion of a BLP violation is blockable. By the letter of the policy, he could have blocked you and been found proper in doing so. Since he chose to protect the page rather than block you, I think it would behoove you to address the content issues, rather than question his judgement. - Crockspot 18:04, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
    • I appreciate that you are trying to offer a helpful outside interpretation. However, I think if you compare the version prior to Tom Harrison's radical excision to the last version he allowed me to make, you will see that they are significantly different.
    • When I first reverted Tom Harrison's radical and poorly explained excision I restored it to the state immediately prior to his excision because he made no attempt to explain to the rest of us how the material he excised violated WP:BLP beyond a bald assertion. I am willing to accept that Tom Harrison initially mistakenly thought I was simply reverting -- if he wasn't really paying attention. However, he then made half a dozen smaller excisions -- questionable excisions. Trying to image that he was continuing to labour under the misconception that I had made mutliple reinsertion of BLP violation strains my ability to assume good faith beyond its breaking point. IMO, at this point, he should have apologized for the unjustifiable page protection -- not stated that he would block me, without warning, if my edits struck him as breaching his unexplained interpretation of WP:BLP.
    • At the time I started working on this article I had no idea who Harrison was, or that he was an administrator. I don't think it should matter whether he was an administrator. So far as I am concerned being elevated to administrator does not free a wikiedian of the obligation to explain their edits. I see you too are a regular patroller of disputed articles. Maybe you are familiar enough with Harrison's concerns that he doesn't really have to explain his reasoning to you. But he had an obligation to explain his reasoning to the rest of us. Given his failure to do so, why the heck should the rest of us accept his bald assertion that the article was violating BLP?
    • Confession: I was not familiar enough with WP:WLP to know that it modified the 3RR rule to a 1RR rule. Maybe someone can explore this 1RR rule with me more fully. I have been contributing to the wikipedia for almost three years now. Most of my edits over the last two years have been related to counter-terrorism -- controversial articles that have attracted POV pushing vandals who showed a shocking disregard for the integrity of the wikipedia project. I am sadly well aware that there are vandals attracted to topics like Haroon Rashid Aswat who will show no hesitation over exploiting loopholes in the wikipedia's policies and procedures. There is absolutely no way that someone, whether they are an ordinary wikipedian, or an administrator, should be in the position to initiate a different set of rules based solely on a bald assertion that an article, or contribution, is not in compliance. IMO it is essential that wikipedians, like Harrison, provide a meaningful justification for their invocation of policy -- one meaningful to those who are not familiar with their previous efforts.
    • Cheers! Geo Swan 11:43, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Lexis/Nexis is available free at many libraries in the US. Sources have to be verifiable. I tried to verify the sources in the article, and failed. The only place I have been able to find that material is in the post on That is not a reliable source.

It is not up to me to prove a source is unreliable, it is up to the person who wants to include the material to show that the source is reliable. If you want to cite, or, you need to demonstrate that they are reliable sources for what you want to say, and that the material otherwise satisfies WP:BLP.

You asked above, "Could it have been a clever forgery? Possibly. But who would go to all that trouble?" I replied, "Lots of people, especially conspiracy theorists." You asked about extradition. I said I could not find the source that was cited, but noted that "Other sources to support this are available, like this from the BBC."

You continue to seem outraged that I will, if necessary, block you to prevent you from adding poorly-sourced controversial material about a living person. If you are going to work on articles about living people and continue to do the good work you have done, you might want to become more familiar with the policies, or see about improving those policies. If you are determined to personalize this, then further discussion between us will probably not be productive. You might consider asking for a third opinion, or posting on one of the noticeboards I mentioned here: [2]. Tom Harrison Talk 13:23, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Correction, I am not outraged that you have stated you will block me for violations of policy. I am extremely concerned that this warning was not accompanied by a clear explanation of what you thought I did wrong, and what sources you will block me for citing. You say "It is not up to me to prove a source is unreliable". However, in effect, haven't you stated you are going to block me for using sources that, in your opinion, are unreliable, without giving any meaningful explanation as to which sources you regard as unreliable, or any guidance as to how ordinary wikipedians, like myself, as to how we could tell these sources are unreliable, and liable to bring us an edit block, if we use them.
As I pointed out to User:Crockspot, my last edit to this article was considerably different from the version prior to your radical excision. I take it that you found the new sources I found as unsatisfactory as the previous sources. Even if, for the sake of argument, this was true, I can't imagine why you fail to recognize the time I spent finding these new sources represented a good faith effort to improve the article's sourcing.
The way it seems to me your stated intention to block me, for using sources you regard as unreliable, while still not stating which sources you regard as meriting blocking, or giving any meaningful clues as to how I would recognize these sources merit blocking, still stands. I am still in the position where, if I made good faith edits to this article, I still might find myself blocked, because I was unaware that some new source I cited was one you were going to regard as unreliable.
Regarding what you and I are and aren't obliged to prove -- you have placed great reliance on this lexis-nexis service, and seem to think the rest of us should regard it as a definitive. Maybe it seems obvious to you that it is definitive? It may be available, free of charge, in many US libraries. We don't all live in the USA you know. What if I were to go consult the microfiche of that day's Los Angeles Times, and I told everyone that the LATimes did, in fact, publish John D's article as mirrored on the site I found, would you trust my word? Would that make the citation a reliable source? Would it trump your consultation of Lexis-Nexis? Why shouldn't interested editors consider my word that I found the article in the microfiche at least as reliable as your word that Lexis-Nexis said the article had never been published?
No, I haven't gone looking for the article, in microfiche. Nor will I if you respond that you won't regard my words as reliable. But, if you won't then what makes your word that your consultation of Lexis-Nexis proved the article had never been published? Assuming you would be no more inclined to lie about what you found than any other honorable wikipedian, why shouldn't the rest of us assume LN is capable of making mistakes?
Regarding the protection that MI6 is reported to have provided Haroon Rashid Aswat -- I wouldn't knowingly cite the work of a conspiracy nut. But let me remind you of the reported connection between MI5 and Bisher al Rawi. Most of the allegations Bisher al Rawi faced during his Combatant concerned his acquaintanceship with Abu Qatada, one of the dozen or so guys described as "al Qaeda's European ambassador". His transcript contained a lot of questions about Abu Qatada. And it contained redactions. Reports started to circulate that al Rawi had been an MI5 source, that MI5 regularly debriefed him after his contact with Abu Qatada, and that through al Rawi they knew exactly where Abu Qatada was, during the time he was officially "underground". Some reports stated that MI5 blackmailed al Rawi to maintain contact with and spy on Abu Qatada against his will. Skeptics discounted the reports there had been ties between al Rawi and MI5 as the work or conspiracy theorists. However the UK government has confirmed that al Rawi was an MI5 source. My point being it is an example of the reasons why you and I, and other wikipedians should be cautious about suppressing coverage of material based on our personal judgement that it is the work of conspiracy theorists. If you, or I, or other wikipedians give in to the temptation of suppressing material because, in our personal opinion, it strikes us as the work of conspiracy theorists, I am concerned that we would be sailing pretty close to, well, POV-pushing.
Okay, I took your advice and took a second look at some of those policies:
However, you said you considered blocking me -- without giving me any prior warning. Unless I am missing something a block without a prior warning is not authorized by policy.
  • I am going to repeat that I still find your warning alarmingly vague. There is no way I can contribute to this article with confidence you will not decide that some source I have cited does not meet your criteria for reliability, and block me, without any further warning.
  • Does the page protection policy really allow you to protect a page without providing an explanation beyond putting "blp" in the edit summary? Geo Swan 01:01, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Since no block was issued, the question of whether it would have been authorized is moot. You were not harmed or victimized. You should consider his remark as your warning. Again, I would encourage you to focus on the content issues. Personalizing disputes is not productive. - Crockspot 05:09, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay, content: The article originally cited a July 29, 2005 interview with a former US Prosecutor, named John Loftus, who tied Haroon Rashid Aswat to MI6. The article originally cited a web-site called infowars, for the transcript to this interview. In TH's judgement this web-site was an unreliable source. I found a number of other sites with transcripts, and/or video of the original interview. I picked another source.
In my opinion there is no real doubt that Loftus was in fact interviewed on July 28th, 2005. In my opinion there is no real doubt that during his interview Loftus tied Haroon Rashid Aswat to MI6. I added more details to the article today.
I don't think I should have to ask for pre-approval of the sources I cite. I think if anyone has an objection to sources or text that I add, in good faith, they should discuss it here, on the talk page, or follow one of the other procedures we have for reaching consensus -- not immediately jump to procedures, like page protection or blocking without warning, which should be reserved for contributors who are not in good standing.
Cheers! Geo Swan 16:05, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Geo Swan, some friendly advise: (a) Take some time and read in detail our policy of WP:BLP; (b) Take a short break, a few days maybe, and then come back refreshed: editing while upset, escalates things unnecessarily; (c) Rather than head-butt with other editors, ask for help: You can ask for a third opinion, place a Request for comment, or follow other methods of dispute resolution. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:16, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone have the original LA Times url that went dead? LA Times articles usually show up in, if I am not mistaken. - Crockspot 17:49, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Nevermind, found it in the history here. Does not appear to be archived, even tried stripping off the extra parameters from the end of the url. - Crockspot 18:02, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

This is a good faith edit[edit]

An administrator who focusses on biographies that he thinks violate WP:BLP has repeatedly stated he will block me from editing, without further notice, if I cite sources that he thinks are unreliable. But he has also repeatedly ignored my requests for him to clarify how I could tell if a source was one that would trigger a block. I would either like him to do that -- or to withdraw his warning.

I reintroduced coverage of John Loftus's assertion that Haroon Rashid Aswat was a double agent who was protected by MI6 -- which seems like it is a key assertion that triggers this administrator's concern.

So I am going to state, for the record, this is a good faith edit. And I think, if this concerned administrator has an objection to it, he should try engaging in a civil discussion of his concerns here on the talk page, rather than jumping to using his administrator authority.

Cheers! Geo Swan 02:21, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

The Guardian is a reliable source for what you added, unlike and, and the material is actually in that source. Again, if it is necessary to block you to prevent you from violating blp, then I will block you. I understand you don't like that. You are welcome to again note that for the record, or to try and change the blocking policy or the blp policy, or to post on the blp noticeboard or reliable sources notice board , or to ask for a third, fourth, or fifth opinion, or to start a request for comment on my behavior. Tom Harrison Talk 16:07, 11 August 2007 (UTC)


The first paragraph says he was extradited, the last paragraph (us extradition etc) ends only at the failure of extradition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:19, 9 March 2015 (UTC)