Talk:Khalid al-Mihdhar

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Featured article Khalid al-Mihdhar is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 16, 2005 Good article nominee Listed
October 1, 2007 Good article reassessment Delisted
October 19, 2008 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

Photo[edit]

I'm looking into which Image copyright tag we should be using for these photos. If nothing else, it certainly meets fair use, but maybe {{fairuseunsure}} isn't the correct tag? -Aude (talk | contribs) 17:17, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure which image you're specifically referring to, but I've found most images on the hijacker pages fit either PD-ineligible (ATM photos, security cameras, Al-Qaeda video, etc), or else/also the FBI tag, since most of the other photos we use were released in FBI press releases at some point. Sherurcij (talk) (Terrorist Wikiproject) 17:40, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
I was looking at Image:KAlmihdhar.JPG, which had {{fairuseunsure}} (someone's changed it), and the ones removed by OrphanBot. I think the FBI tag might be suitable, however to say an FBI employee took the photo as part of his/her duties is likely inaccurate. And, the description on Wikipedia:Image_copyright_tags of {{PD-ineligible}} doesn't seem to quite fit. There's also a {{mugshot}} tag, though these aren't specifically mugshots but as you say security cameras or probably drivers license, passport, immigration... photos. I'm thinking we probably need to create another tag to add to Wikipedia:Image_copyright_tags that covers these cases. The same problems apply to FBI most wanted fugitives. With a proper tag, we won't need to be concerned about OrphanBot. -Aude (talk | contribs) 17:50, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
File:Threealmihdhars.jpg
Three photographs of al-Mihdhar released by the FBI.

When where these photos released by the FBI? At least the right one is clearly a different person and was released by the media, not the FBI. --Sloane 16:36, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

contradictions[edit]

"Al Midhar [sic!] flew to Saudi Arabia June 10, 2001, where he organized "muscle" hijackers for 9/11 attacks, returning to U.S. on July 4, 2001." The information above must be wrong. by June 10th 2001, most of the muscle hijackers were already in the U.S. "In June of 2000[other articels claim Mai 10th], al-Mihdhar returned to Yemen...returning to U.S. on July 4, 2001." All the information about the things he did in the U.S. in between is very strange. So where has he been now?

I am comparing the hijackers profiles right now, and I find it funny, how they misfit and contradict each other in many details. A large part of the "facts" is based on speculation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed spend some time in a CIA torture lab, when he became one of the major sources of the 9/11-commission report. 68.18.91.52

GA review — delisted[edit]

Symbol unsupport vote.svg In order to uphold the quality of Wikipedia:Good articles, all articles listed as Good articles are being reviewed against the GA criteria as part of the GA project quality task force. While all the hard work that has gone into this article is appreciated, unfortunately, as of October 1, 2007, this article fails to satisfy the criteria, as detailed below. For that reason, the article has been delisted from WP:GA. However, if improvements are made bringing the article up to standards, the article may be nominated at WP:GAN. If you feel this decision has been made in error, you may seek remediation at WP:GAR.

Ruslik 09:45, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

The reasons:

1) Insufficiant number of citations in the text. Many paragraphs do not have them at all. I marked them with 'fact' tags;

2) The reflist should not look like a collection of weblinks. Refs should have titles, dates of publication, publishers, and authors;

3) Many web refs are dead or forbiden.

Ruslik 09:45, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

I could be mistaken...[edit]

I don't see any mention in the article right now, so it's possible I'm mistaken; but I'm pretty sure al-Mihdhar was married; possibly even had a child. I'm just leaving this note so I can either remind myself to dig around for confirmation, or perhaps somebody else can. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 07:09, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Found it, re-inserted. Please do not remove the fact without discussion. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 07:16, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Dubious[edit]

The part about Mihdhar living with the informant is based on a marginal source, which only gives passing mention about Mihdhar and the informant. More solid sources are needed. Mihdhar left the U.S. in June, so it's also dubious, unsourced, with weasel words to say that "Al-Mihdhar is believed to have left the apartment in early October." --Aude (talk) 08:39, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Intelligence information[edit]

The part of the article discussing Mihdhar's selection for the plot should be a concise explanation of what the Malaysia meetings were about, within the timeline of events. I don't think that section should delve into discussion of intelligence on Mihdhar and the intelligence failure. Since these pieces of intelligence came together and the failure apparent after the 9/11 attacks, it really fits in the aftermath section and can be expanded upon there. --Aude (talk) 08:58, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Hrm, as much as possible I think we should offer the reader the full context as he "moves along through the article" in chronological order. So rather than saying "He attended X", then ten paragraphs, then "Back when he attended X, the FBI did Y", we should simply say "When he attended X, the FBI did Y". It gives a more complete picture; rather than separating it into chunks based on "The story from his POV", "The story from Saudi POV", "The story from FBI POV" and similar. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 09:02, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Mixing in what the intelligence agencies were doing with what Mihdhar was doing is not ideal. That makes the article going back and forth, and more difficult to read. This doesn't give as coherent picture of the the intelligence failures relating to Mihdhar, as can be done by putting this part of the story together in a separate section. --Aude (talk) 09:42, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that after the reader has finished reading about the attacks themselves, they're then asked to go back in their mind to 1997 to find out that Saudi Arabia had eyed him for weapons smuggling...was that before his fight in Bosnia? Chechnya? It doesn't lend itself towards understanding the context; whereas knowing that someone returned from a specific battlefield, and was eyed for importing weapons offers more context. Similarly, it is better to point out that on September 5th the FBI were combing hotels looking for Mihdhar, while we're reading about how he avoided checking into the hotel he said he was staying at, and instead checked into a Ramada Inn. Instead of "He checked into a Ramada", and then ten paragraphs later mentioning "but the FBI thought he was at a Marriott". Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 09:48, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I put in a subheading for the year 2001, to partially separate this information but not completely. This might work, rather than putting all these details at the end. --Aude (talk) 09:56, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Toyota[edit]

TIME says it was a Camry, not a Corolla[1] Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 00:18, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Most of the sources say it was a Corolla, such as CBS (info from FBI), Washington Post, 9/11 Commission hearing, etc. The vehicle was left in the hourly parking lot at Dulles on 9/11, and found the next day. Generally speaking, many of the news reports soon after 9/11 do get some details wrong, as they do rush to get stories out with possibly not so good fact checking. The Time looks to me something written in a rush, especially with the correction appended at the top, so I would recommend sticking with the other sources. --Aude (talk) 01:03, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

FAC[edit]

A couple missing points that should be added before it gets promoted, first his connection to the Islamic Army of Aden, we'd be well-served to upgrade to the better government exhibit photo of http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/profiles/images/khalid_al-mihdhar_2.jpg, and it seems http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/profiles/images/khalid_al-mihdhar_3.jpg was also entered into exhibits at Moussaoui's trial. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 20:59, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

on the left is al-Mihdhar's entry visa, presumably thus a work of the federal govt. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 21:04, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Those photos are good. I believe the visa is public domain, so can go on commons. The other would be fair use, since a federal employee probably didn't take the photo, and could replace the one currently uploaded. --Aude (talk) 21:12, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Let's see if we can figure out their "actual source", like the Visa (again, note the visa image is the one we have blown up larger and "nice" - which means it is Public Domain, luckily for us. Perhaps the other two are as well. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 21:25, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the photos themselves can be public domain, since government employees probably didn't take the photos for visas. Mihdhar probably had to bring in passport photos. At the motor vehicle office, they do take your picture there, but it's state government which means not public domain. Copyright issues may come up at FAC for more discussion, with additional input. Anyway, I'm out for a while and back later. --Aude (talk) 21:29, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

BIrthdate[edit]

I can find sources for May 5 and May 16, I cannot find any source alleging April 20th (currently in our infobox) - as this birthday would be shared with Adolf Hitler, the Columbine Massacre and "4:20" (a euphemism for marijuana), it seems at least possible this was unnoticed vandalism. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 21:30, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for pointing this out. I changed it to May 16, which more sources appear to support. The FBI uses that date from INS records, and it's on his visa. Though I don't put a lot of trust in what his fake ID says, he used May 16 for that, as well. The discrepancy is noted in the article. --Aude (talk) 02:41, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Better photos[edit]

Copyedit completed, improvement suggestions[edit]

I went through the article twice and cleaned up grammar, spelling, wikilinks, etc. It needs more work to reach FA status, however. I inserted inline tags accompanied by questions in hidden comments next to things needing clarification, years, citations and page numbers. There are a lot of sources needing page numbers because they are PDFs, some of which are more than 100 pages.

These are the other things that need to be worked on:

Lead: I see that his birth date has been discussed before. It is currently listed as May 5/16, 1975, which is confusing, especially because the infobox lists it as May 16. I agree with Aude in using the birth date given by the majority of sources.

The lead provides information not found in the article. It should be a summary of info from the article; however, if it's going to be left as is, the additional information (such as him fighting with the mujahideen in Bosnia) needs citations.

Background: While this section mentions that he was involved with al-Qaeda through various family members, its not clear as to how he became involved in the "planes operation" (which also needs further explanation) and why Bin Laden chose him for the attacks plot.

Sources: I highly suggest using WebCite to archive all of the non-PDF web sources, especially because the article has a history of dead links.

The source URL given for his seat location and number is a page where you have to download a ZIP file to access the cited info. Try to find a more accessible source.

General items:

  • The name consistency needs some work. Some people with last names starting with "al-" are identified without it and some are identified with it.
  • Most of the quotes do not provide additional info and should be paraphrased.

--momoricks talk 13:05, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Thank you very muchfor the review and copyedits.
  • I have adjusted his birthdate, with the discrepancy noted in the footnote.
  • I don't believe that Mihdhar mentioned fighting in Bosnia is new information presented in the lead. It's mentioned in the background section, with cites. The lead section generally does not need cites, but only needs to summarize the content of the article. This is also why there is mention about the Malaysia summit and him not being placed on any watchlist until August 2001, since these are notable aspects of the article.

My apologies, I should have been more clear when using this as an example. The mujahideen mention should be moved to the Background section, as the article is where the specifics should be given. momoricks talk 00:12, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for clarifying. Unfortunately, we do not know more details about their involvement in Bosnia, and I didn't find any information about Mihdhar before he turned 20. So, that part of the article is very brief and lacks details. Though it's a brief mention, it's significant and something that distinguishes Mihdhar and Hazmi from the other hijackers. I don't think it shouldn't be omitted from the lead, but I have tried rewording it to make it a more general statement. --Aude (talk) 00:29, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I have to apologize again. Sometimes electronic communication is unclear. I reworded the first few sentences of the Background section to say what I was trying to convey. Please let me know if I messed up anything. Thanks, momoricks talk 02:11, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

How you reworded the section is perfect. --Aude (talk) 02:15, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • About Chechyna, we don't know further details, but just know this is what Mihdhar told people. He may have intended to go to Chechyna, but it didn't work out that way. Many were diverted to Afghanistan. Or it may have been a lie, and he knew he was going to Afghanistan. It's speculation, but we can at least mention what he told people.
  • Details on how or why he was chosen for the plot are really not known, other than he was well-regarded by Bin Laden and that he and Hazmi were from Mecca (symbolic, and also the same area that Bin Laden was from). Since Mihdhar was from a prominent family, it's likely that his family was acquainted in some way with Bin Laden's family. This is just speculation, though maybe I can find a source that says this, and add something to the article about this.
  • Mentioning Mihdhar buying a car is worth including, since it does show they were frugal. Then, we know he transferred the car to Hazmi, before he left, and the car was later driven across the country. It was found on September 12 in the Dulles International Airport's hourly parking lot.

I don't think their frugality is especially notable; however, the other information is and should be added to the article. Without it the two mentions of the car don't make sense. momoricks talk 00:12, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I added something about the car being found at Dulles, with various items inside that helped investigators. --Aude (talk) 00:29, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I have updated the ref for the seat numbers.
  • I have tried clarifying the other points.
  • As for refering to him as "al-Mihdhar" or "Mihdhar", there is nothing in the manual of style to say how to do this. So, I looked at what the 9/11 Commission does, what Lawrence Wright did in The Looming Towers and what Terry McDermott did in The Perfect Soldiers. They all omitted the "al-" unless they are stating his full name, then they say "Khalid al-Mihdhar". If you have further suggestions, I'm open to doing this differently.
  • I have removed several of the quotes.
--Aude (talk) 16:25, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Added page numbers. --Aude (talk) 18:48, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Regarding Chechyna, I added something (with reference) saying it's not known for sure that he actually went to Chechyna. Regarding why he was chosen for the plot, I added that he was known and highly-regarded by Bin Laden, with a reference. That's about all I can find or that we know. --Aude (talk) 19:33, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Kudos, this looks good. momoricks talk 00:12, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

One more thing[edit]

I forgot to mention this in my previous note. Al-Qaeda needs to be consistent in the article. It is usually spelled al-Qaeda in the article but there a several instances in which it is spelled Al-Qaeda. momoricks talk 21:25, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. I looked at how Lawrence Wright and other sources spell the name, and they use al-Qaeda. --Aude (talk) 21:42, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

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