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

This page documents a possible copyright violation by a book published in 2006 by a major US publisher, John Wiley & Sons. The book is Black Gold: The New Frontier in Oil for Investors (ISBN 0470048034.) The text of this book can be searched using Amazon's Search Inside function, Its author is George Orwel, an experienced reporter.

According to the Wiley web site:

George Orwel is an Oil Analyst and Senior Writer for both the Oil Daily and Petroleum Intelligence Weekly. Previously, he covered the oil market for six years as a staff reporter for Dow Jones Newswires. Orwel has appeared on key media outlets, including CNN, BBC, and NPR, and contributed articles to the Los Angeles Times and the Christian Science Monitor, as well as other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


The book contains a two page description of the Khobar Towers Bombing that appears to be lifted from the English version of Wikipedia.


I wrote much of the copied text. Complicating any charge of copyright violation is the fact that I have released most of my contributions into the public domain. However, the copied passage contains text written by others also. Even if this is legally not a copyright violation, it is an ethical problem for an established reporter.

Comparison of Wikipedia and Book[edit]

Wikipedia Article as of late 2005[edit]

Khobar Towers is part of an housing complex in the city of Khobar, Saudi Arabia near the national oil company (Saudi Aramco) headquarters of Dhahran. In 1996, it was being used to house foreign military personnel, including Americans. On June 25, 1996, terrorists, identified by the United States as members of Hezbollah, exploded a fuel truck adjacent to Building #131 in the housing complex. This eight-story building mostly housed United States Air Force personnel from the 4404th Fighter Wing. In all, 19 U.S. servicemen and one Saudi were killed and 372 wounded. This event has come to be known as the Khobar Towers bombing.

According to the United States, a group of terrorists who wanted to remove Americans from Saudi Arabia organized the attack. They smuggled explosives into Saudi Arabia from Lebanon. They purchased a fuel truck in Saudi Arabia and converted it into a bomb. It contained 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of explosives.

Around 10:00 pm the attackers drove three vehicles, two cars and the bomb truck, to a parking lot adjacent to building #131. A chain link security fence separated the parking lot from the compound. Building #131 was adjacent to the fence. The first car entered the parking lot and signalled the others by flashing headlights. The bomb truck and a getaway vehicle followed shortly after. The men parked the truck next to the fence and left in the third vehicle. The bomb exploded between three and four minutes later.

An American sentry, Air Force Staff Sergeant Alfredo R. Guerrero, was stationed atop Building #131. He witnessed the men, recognized it as a threat, reported it to security, and began evacuating the building. His action is credited with saving dozens of lives. Many of the evacuees were in the stairwell when the bomb went off. The stairwell was on the side of the building away from the truck bomb, perhaps the safest location in the building.

Another measure also is thought to have minimized damage. Along the security fence were Jersey barriers, concrete barriers commonly used along roadways. These deflected the blast from the lower floors of the building, perhaps preventing a total collapse.

The force of the explosion was enormous. It heavily damaged or destroyed six high rise apartment buildings in the complex. Windows were shattered in virtually every other building in the compound. An enormous crater, 85 feet wide and 35 feet deep, was left where the truck had been. The blast was even felt by some 20 miles away in the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain.

On June 21, 2001 an indictment was issued in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia charging the following people with murder, conspiracy, and other charges related to the bombing:

The remaining five were Sa'ed Al-Bahar, Saleh Ramadan, Ali Al-Marhoun, Mustafa Al-Mu'alem and Fadel Al-Alawe.


Black gold pg 80.png Black gold pg 81.png

Editors who wrote the Wikipedia version[edit]

Some small edits were made to the 2005-12-31t03:48:20z version of the article when included in the book.

Most of the copied text was written by User:Ydorb who had already released it into the public domain. Non trivial changes made to the text included in the book were written by: (this audit includes work done by Kaldari)

  • User:TMillerCA (initial 2 sentences)
    • +"19 U.S. servicemen were killed and 372 wounded on 1996-06-25 by a terrorist car bomb at Khobar Towars, part of a housing complex for military personnel. On 2001-06-21 an indictment was issued in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia charging 13 Saudis and 1 Lebanese citizen with murder, conspiracy, and other changes related to the bombing." [1]
  • User:WhisperToMe (1 sentence plus list of bombers)
    • changed "13 Saudis and 1 Lebanese citizen" to "the following people"
    • +"Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Mughassil"
    • +"Abdelkarim Hussein Mohamed Al-Nasser"
    • +"Ali Saed Bin Ali El-Hoorie"
    • +"Ibrahim Salih Mohammed al-Yacoub"
    • +"Nine other Saudis"
    • +"One Lebanese man." [2]
  • User:Ydorb
  • User:Rmhermen
    • +"identified by the U.S. as members of Hezbollah,"
    • +"In 2004, the 9/11 Commission noted the possibility that Osama bin Laden may have helped the group, possibly by helping obtain explosives" [5]
  • User:
    • +"Air Force" [6]
  • User:Eagleamn
    • +"listed as "John Doe.""
    • +"The remaining five -- Sa'ed Al-Bahar, Saleh Ramadan, Ali Al-Marhoun, Mustafa Al-Mu'alem and Fadel Al-Alawe" [7]
  • User:
    • replaced "Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia housing complex near Dhahran" with "housing complex in the city of Khobar, Saudi Arabia near the national oil company (Saudi Aramco) headquarters of Dhahran"
    • +"including Americans"
    • replaced "is" with "event has come to be" [8]
  • User:
    • replaced "possibly with assistance from Iran" with "there is strong evidence that the government of Iran was the key sponsor of the incident." [9]
  • User:
    • replaced "guerrillas" with "terrorists" [10]
  • User:
    • +"and in surrounding buildings up to one mile away"
    • +"For his actions SSgt Guerrero was awarded the Airman's Medal, our nations highest peacetime award for valor." [11] [12] [13]
  • User:Mmg
    • replaced "our nations" with "the United States'" [14]
  • User:
    • +"primarily from a deployed rescue squadron and deployed fighter squadron."
    • +"Initially, the attackers attempted to enter the compound at the main check point. When they were denied, at around 10:00 pm, they"[15]