Talk:Mohamed Atta

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Former good article Mohamed Atta was one of the Social sciences and society good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 12, 2005 Good article nominee Listed
September 26, 2007 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article
This article has been mentioned by a media organization:

Florida Couple[edit]

Surprised not to find this here, relevant to Atta's entry:

A news report about a Saudi family that disappeared from their home in Sarasota, Fla., just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks has brought an angry response from the co-chair of a congressional Sept. 11 committee. [Senator] Graham called Sarasota case "eerily similar" to the FBI's failure to tell the intelligence committee about a former Saudi civil servant, Omar al-Bayoumi, who supported two hijackers while they were living in San Diego..independent journalist Anthony Summers..said on msnbc tv that a hushed-up inquiry found that "three of the (9/11) pilot hijackers had all been in touch with the Saudis in that house." Abdulazzi al-Hiijjii, his wife Anoud and their two children resided in a home owned by Anoud's father, Esam Ghazzawi, in the gated Sarasota subdivision called Prestancia, according to the report...According to the report, the FBI connected the couple to more than a dozen terrorists through telephone records and through their car license tags and driver's licenses as they passed through the subdivision's security gate. Among the terrorists who visited the home or called the couple was 9/11 leader Mohamed Atta, the report said. Graham said he had no reason to doubt the news report, which said the couple and their two children abruptly abandoned their luxury home, leaving behind a full refrigerator, clothes, furnishings and a new car in the driveway. The news report was based on information from an unnamed counterterrorism official, a neighbor, subdivision administrators, the subdivision security guard and the subdivision lawyer, who said the FBI tried to get him to lure the homeowner back to the United States. According to the report, the Sarasota couple returned to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with Anoud's father after abandoning their home.

See (above are slightly rearranged and much condensed snippets from) this source [1] and similar reports like [2]

Shared Names[edit]

Mr. Atta is one of three hijackers who has the same name as a person who had received training with the U.S. military

Able Danger[edit]

The section on Able Danger to be rewrite to better reflect the Able Danger project, read Able Danger on wiki for a more representative picture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

image gallery[edit]

At the end of the article there was an image gallery without much sense. Maybe you'd like to use these images in context. -- (talk) 15:24, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

There isn't much "context" to the images as they are just documents, preserved for historical value, more than illustrating a specific fact about his life. Sherurcij (Speaker for the Dead) 15:29, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Images are useful. AdjustShift (talk) 02:51, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references ![edit]

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "hooper" :
    • {{cite news |url=,,556630,00.html |title=The shy, caring, deadly fanatic |date=September 23, 2001 |author=Hooper, John |publisher=The Guardian}}
    • {{cite news |url= |title=The Shy, Caring, Deadly Fanatic |publisher=The Guardian |date=September 23, 2001 |author=Hooper, John}}

DumZiBoT (talk) 04:25, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Fair use images[edit]

This article has numerous fair use images. The Wikipedia:Non-free_content policy applies here. A key criteria is "Significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic." Minimal usage of fair use images is one factor to consider.

  • So, we have two images of Mohammed Atta's drivers' license, one in the infobox that is cropped to just show his picture. The second is in further below article text. I think the infobox photo is justified, since it was widely circulated by the FBI [3], and demonstrates his "cold" appearance as noted by many. The picture of his entire drivers license on the other hand, it doesn't add much at all to the readers' understanding of the topic.
  • We also have Atta's college photograph, which again is questionable, since it mainly illustrates or decorates that section of the article.
  • The Huffman Aviation record fits well with the text, illustrating all the hours of training Atta had. It goes beyond what the text says and I think significantly increases readers' understanding.
  • We also have two security camera photos, both which I think are definitely justified to show Atta's whereabouts and activities on 9/10 and 9/11.
  • Atta's visa is public domain, since it's a work of the U.S. government, so no problem with including it.

--Aude (talk) 17:48, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Also, there is Atta's martydom video. I think a screenshot from the video would significantly add to readers' understanding. --Aude (talk) 17:58, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

The simplest solution for the driver's license problem is to include the driver's license, but change our "main" image to another Public Domain image of him if such can be found; thus eliminating the "duplicate" nature. `Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 18:28, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
How does the drivers license add significantly to the readers' understanding of the topic? --Aude (talk) 18:35, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I've erased "Image:AttasFLDriversLic.jpg" from the bio. AdjustShift (talk) 14:59, 24 September 2008 (UTC)


Sometime in the last eight months a bunch of {{dubious}} templates have been added to this article. These templates are less intrusive than some other editorial templates. But they do direct interested readers to the "Dubious" section of the article. But the concerned wikipedian didn't add one.

The template, when expanded, currently adds two links (1) one to Wikipedia:Disputed statement, which explains how the template is supposed to be used; and (2) another to the section of the article entitled Dubious.

The instructions tell concerned wikipedians, when they encountered passages that concerned them, to first see if they could fix the passages on their own. If they couldn't, they were then advised to add a "Disputed" section to the talk page, describing their concern. Only after describing their concern were they supposed to add {{dubious}} tags.

AGF -- the first tags were added eight months ago. Maybe the guideline has been changed in the last eight months, and didn't spell out as clearly the concerned wikipedians responsibilities? But the use of this tag clearly doesn't comply with the guideline, and I am going to suggest that any that aren't explained in a reasonable period of time should be removed.

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 10:53, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

I am mostly on a wikibreak now, but at some point plan to spend more time on the Mohamed Atta article and get it to featured article standards. It's indeed taking a long while for me to get back to working on the article, and not sure when I'll have the time to do so. The article is fairly close, though there are some unsourced passages and there are sections where the sources (and statements) need checking and replacement with more reliable sources. Those sources marked as "dubious" are such sources that are questionable. What I could do for now is replace the tags with hidden inline comments that are only visible when in edit mode.
As for leaving a note on the talk page, that's just a guideline. Where it's been mostly just me working on an article, as has been the case with the Mohamed Atta article, I sometimes don't bother with notes on the talk page. But, more than willing to respond if someone does ask on the talk page. --Aude (talk) 00:45, 1 April 2009 (UTC)


As I understand it the okina is a purely Hawaiian character. Yet it is in one rendering of Atta's name. ??? Rich Farmbrough, 03:53, 8 August 2009 (UTC).

Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2010 July 16#Mohamed Elamir awad al-Sayed Atta Karadogan[edit]

Editors may be interested in contributing to this discussion. Bridgeplayer (talk) 01:22, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Mohamed Atta's identity[edit]

A number of reports suggest the possibility that the person purporting to act under the name of Mohamed Atta in the United States was not the same person as the Mohamed el-Amir Atta who was born in Egypt and studied in Hamburg, Germany. Contrary to anonymous intelligence or law-enforcement sources, these reports were published in mainstream media and provide the full names of their sources;

1. Two men who locals recognized to have been Marwan al-Shehhi and Mohamed Atta stayed at a popular resort hotel in Mabalacat, the Philippines, sometime between 1998 and 2000, drank whiskey with Philippine bargirls, dined at a restaurant that specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine and visited at least one of the local flight schools. Philippine and U.S. investigators have been checking out the reported movements of Marwan Al-Shehhi and Mohamed Atta but would not confirm the accused hijackers' presence in the Philippines. Local hotel workers, including Gina Marcelo, a former waitress, Victoria Brocoy, a chambermaid and Ferdinand Abad, a security guard at the Woodland Park Resort Hotel, were however willing to talk to media about these guests. Another person, interviewed by the New York Times, who remembered Mohamed Atta, was Trudis Dago, manager of the Jerusalem Restaurant in Angeles City. [New York Times, October 5, 2001][1]

2. Spruce Whited, head of security at the [Portland public] library, said he first saw a man he is convinced was Atta in April 2000. He said the man came to the library several times, using the computers. "I only recognized him because he'd been here a few times," he said. Kathy Barry, a reference librarian, also reported seeing Atta, whose photograph has been distributed widely through the media since the Sept. 11 attacks. [Portland Press Herald Report, October 5, 2001, [2]]

3. An in-depth interview by eminent journalist Brian Ross with Johnelle Bryant broadcast on ABC News on June 6, 2002, where she tells him about her encounter with Mohamed Atta in April or May 2000 in her office at the Department of Agriculture in Florida.[3] and [4]

4. Mohamed Atta, the suspected terrorist who crashed hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center, went twice to a small airport in South Florida and asked detailed questions about how to start and fly a crop-duster plane. In Belle Glade, local crop-dusters recounted Sunday what Atta asked about, and speculated on how one of their planes could be used for a terrorist mission. "[Atta] wanted to know how to fly it, how to crank it, how much it would haul, said James Lester, 50, who maintains and loads a 502 Air Tractor crop-duster with as much as 500 gallons of insecticide and fertilizer. Lester said the 33-year-old Atta visited the small airstrip here with several groups of men as recently as last month. "The FBI showed me [Atta's] photo, said Lester, who remembered at least two encounters with Atta -- once in March when he drove up in a green van with two other people, and again in August when he flew into the airport in a single-engine Cessna. "The reason why I recognized him was because he was always walking behind me, being real persistent in asking those questions." [The Miami Herald, October 29, 2001, [5]

These reports provide facts that are incompatible with the official account on Mohamed Atta on three grounds: (a) Mohamed Atta is seen in the Philippines acting as a playboy, contrary to his description as a pious Muslim (b) Mohamed Atta is seen by several independent witnesses in the United States prior to his official entry date into the U.S. (c) Mohamed Atta is described as someone intent to make himself conspicuous as well as suspicious within the U.S.

Whatever the deep significance of these facts, they constitute part and parcel of the public account on Mohamed Atta and must appear on any objective account regarding this person. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Emetvetzedek (talkcontribs) 13:05, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Challenged without citations[edit]

is there a reason why User:JohnCengiz77‎ feels that these statements need to be in the article without citations? All they need are citations, but he seems willing to reintroduce challenged material without citations and is close to being blocked for it. Please read WP:Verifiability and become accustomed to how things actually work on wikipedia.--Jojhutton (talk) 14:17, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Martyrdom Video Authenticity[edit]

I'm surprised there is no mention here or elsewhere regarding the authenticity of the "martyrdom" video. Specifically, the portion of the video allegedly linking the hijackers to Osama Bin Laden addressing some sort of rally in Afghanistan. Prior to the announcement of this footage, the same rally is featured via an alternate camera angle in the docudrama "The Road to Guantánamo" released earlier during the same year. This footage also contains the same 1/8/2000 date in the datestamp. Coincidentally, the footage in the film supposedly has the detainee inserted via CG so they can try and convince him that he was present at the rally. The datestamp during the rally (in the martydom video) is inconsistent with the edits (including a scene dubbed in which later reverts to the dubbed over scene picking back up where it left off with the new date stamp - camcorders didn't work like this) but I can't find any 'official' sources which state this. Anybody who watches the video can see the inconsistent date stamp for themselves although that would fall under the umbrella of original research I guess. Either way, I think "The Road to Guantánamo" deserves mention since it is the same rally on the same day (according to the date stamp) from the same country that released the martyrdom video and in the same year in a partially fictitious docudrama film (at the 74 minute mark). Ryal-oh (talk) 22:02, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Was Mohamed Atta[edit]

Was Mohamed Atta living with his family in Birmingham, Alabama in 2001? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:25, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

pure terror[edit]

Atta was the first face of terror that I came across ever since I was a child. I am seeing his face probably after 10 years today and the mere sight of him has brought back those drastic images of terror back to me. I read his message of 'expanding terror', i wonder how can a person feel gratification of absolutely any kind after having killed another human being. just how !!!!!!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:54, 10 September 2011 (UTC)


Atta was a coward, not mastermind. The first sentence should be rephrased. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:26, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

That's the term used in reliable sources, not some sort of comment on how good or bad a person he is. In any event one could actually be both a mastermind and a coward--the two are not incompatible. Qwyrxian (talk) 02:13, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Mohamed Atta's father[edit]

WhisperToMe (talk) 17:10, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Section titles[edit]

Is there a reason for using "Notes" as the section-title for the citations? I would have expected that to be called "References".

Along the same lines, is there a reason for using "References" as the section-title for the fullsize-books? I would have expected that to be called "Further Reading".

See WP:FNNR and WP:CITEVAR, which explicitly say this: "Editors may use any section title that they choose. ...unless there is consensus to change, defer to the style used by the first major contributor." Current section-titles seem different from what I would expect, but they are not wrong. And I'm not a stickler about "house style" everywhere. If nobody speaks up, then I'll mark this down as no-need-to-change-it.

Worth asking, though: anybody else think changing the section-titles, from notes-to-references, and from references-to-furtherReading, is worthwhile as an exercise in consistency? (talk) 04:16, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Any objections to adding a See Also, to the article? There are some navboxen (for Al-Qaeda and War On Terror), but no actual See Also.

  1. September 11 attacks (( there is already a navbox for the 9/11 hijackers... but not for the overall event ))
  2. Aircraft hijacking
  3. Suicide attack

These are just preliminary suggestions, I'd be happy to see better alternatives/additions. Thanks. (talk) 04:16, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Atta and the CIA[edit]

Speculation exists that Atta was handled by the CIA and was used in Kosovo in an attempt to destabilize Milosovich. Claims of his devout Islamic faith have largely been fabricated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Passport Cynicism[edit]

' When Atta returned, he claimed that his passport was lost and got a new one, which is a common tactic to erase evidence of travel to places such as Afghanistan. '

This encyclopedic article ought to state facts not cynicism. Beingsshepherd (talk) 16:02, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^
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  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^